AUTHOR: AMELIA AUTIN
TITLE: KILLER COUNTDOWN
GENRE: ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
PUBLISHER: HARLEQUIN ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
RELEASE DATE:AUGUST 1, 2016
A reporter helps a sexy senator evade a deadly assassin in this thrilling Man on a Mission tale
TV reporter Carly Edwards has the scoop of a century! She’s discovered that Senator Shane Jones was diagnosed with a life-altering illness, but she can’t help but be drawn to his courage. So when Shane saves Carly’s life from a killer, she resolves to keep her story—and the irresistible politician—alive…
A politician and a media personality are a recipe for romantic disaster. The last thing Shane wants is to endanger Carly. But how can he prevent her from getting close when the very air between them sizzles? As their lives are threatened, Shane realizes Carly’s the one woman he wants forever—if he can keep them both safe!
Mills and Boon: https://www.millsandboon.co.uk/p50895/killer-countdown.htm
When the door swung open Shane started to speak, but the breath left his lungs at the sight of Carly in red, and he had to remind himself to breathe. Last night, in her sparkly blue evening dress that matched her eyes, she’d been regal and radiant. Tonight she was stunning.
When their eyes met he said huskily, “There are no words, Carly.”
He hadn’t realized she’d been anxiously awaiting his approbation until the anxiety was banished, replaced with a smile that made him want to forget dinner, walk her backward into her town house, and make love to her on the first surface he found. Which he couldn’t do, of course. But he wanted to.
“Come on in while I get my coat,” Carly said with a little catch in her voice.
Shane didn’t trust himself inside. “I’ll wait out here.”
She shook her head, took his arm, and drew him into the house, closing the door behind him. “That’s ridiculous. Forgetting the fact that it’s cold outside, you’d make a terrific target standing under the porch light. A ten-year-old boy could take you down, much less an experienced marksman.”
She turned toward the closet as she was speaking, and that’s when Shane saw the back of her dress. Or rather, what wasn’t there. And before he knew it, he’d spoken her name in a voice that couldn’t hide his desperate need.
She froze for a second, then faced him. And the invitation in her eyes was unmistakable. “I’m not really hungry,” she whispered. “Except…” She caught her breath, then let it out, the faintest tremor running through her body. “For you, Shane,” she finished on a rush. “Except for you.”
He closed his eyes, then opened them again. And suddenly Carly was in his arms, her lips locked on to his. A rushing sound filled his ears, and he realized it was his blood coursing through his veins as his heart pounded furiously. He let Carly go only long enough to fight out of his overcoat and jacket, dropping them unheeded on the floor. Then his arms closed around her again.
Shane retained just enough sanity to know he couldn’t take Carly right there on the floor in the foyer…or on the staircase…or bent over the arm of the sofa in the living room. But he honest to God didn’t know if he could make it to the bedroom.
He slid his hands beneath her skirt and up. Up over silky thighs, until he grasped her hips and lifted, pulling her flush against the hardness of his erection. “Hold on tight,” he whispered, and she wrapped her legs around his hips and rocked against him, moaning a little, her hands frantically clutching his shoulders for purchase.
Afterward he could never explain how they ended up in her bedroom, except that somehow he’d carried her up the stairs just like that—her arms around his neck, her lips glued to his, her thighs clutching tightly. He tumbled her onto the bed and followed her down.
KILLER COUNTDOWN, Copyright © 2016 by Amelia Autin Lam
MEET AMELIA AUTIN:
What genre of books do you read other than romances?
Mysteries, both “cozy” and not so cozy (e.g., Agatha Christie and Michael Connelly), techno-thrillers (Tom Clancy comes to mind), legal thrillers (John Grisham, of course), science fiction (Robert A. Heinlein and Isaac Asimov in particular), and a variety of non-fiction that reads like fiction (books by Erik Larson, John M. Barry, David McCullough, etc.)
How many hours do you spend on research?
That’s a tough question, because I don’t really do research in that fashion. I write on a PC, but I have my laptop open behind me, wirelessly connected to the internet. Whenever I have a question about something, I just turn around and query it on Google or Duck Duck Go, my favorite search engines. (I shudder to think of what the FBI would make of my search questions!)
When not writing what’s your favorite pastime activity other than reading?
Reading. Oh wait, something other than reading. I guess that would be traveling and taking pictures. I have thousands of pictures Bodyguard and I have taken on our travels, and I use them as research when I need an interesting location for a book. Mt.Evans in Colorado, the highest mountain in the US you can actually drive to the top, as featured in McKinnon’s Royal Mission? Been there! A secluded cabin in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming, that played such a critical role in Cody Walker’s Woman and Liam’s Witness Protection? Been there!The Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, where the opening scenes of Killer Countdown take place? Been there!
Name one fascinating place you’ve visited.
Hong Kong. I’ve traveled there three times now, and there’s always something different to see and do. I set A Father’s Desperate Rescue in Hong Kong because I’m fascinated by it. It’s so different from my life in the US.
One reviewer wrote, “The way in which Hong Kong is so vividly described all throughout the story had me feeling as though the setting was well known to me. While I may not have ever been there, I could clearly visualize each location from the colorful details that were easy to picture in my mind…”
Another reviewer wrote, “One of the greatest characters of the book was Hong Kong itself. The descriptions of the city, from the sights to the smells to the weather were so vivid I felt as though I was there…”
While I didn’t want the city to take over the story, it makes me happy to know I managed to convey to these readers a little of what the city means to me. That I was able to bring it to life for them.
Do you have a childhood story book that remained with you as an adult?
Many. Too many to list them all here, but my favorite childhood authors are on my web site, under My Favorite Things. If I had to pick just one book, though, I guess I’d go with The Forgotten Door, by Alexander Key.
What are you currently reading?
That changes day to day. It all depends on what I’m in the mood for, but I do have a few favorite authors I keep going back to: Jill Shalvis for humor and heart, Tawna Fenske for laugh-out-loud humor and fan-my-face heat, and Karen Booth and Jennifer Gracen for when I want my emotions wrenched. Oh and Georgette Heyer. I can read her anytime.
What’s the most exciting thing that ever happened to you?
Selling my first book to Silhouette back in 1994. For the first time in my life I actually cried from joy when I got “the call.” After that, winning Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® award the very same week I made my first sale…at the RWA conference in New York City.
Oops! Maybe I should have said falling in love with Bodyguard is the most exciting thing that ever happened to me. And it is in a way, but that took place over a span of time and is ongoing. So I guess my first answer is correct if you’re talking about a specific event.
Your latest book is titledKiller Countdown. What inspired you to write this story?
I started writing this book as a way to stay sane when I was emotionally at one of the lowest moments of my life. It was either write or fall apart, and I couldn’t fall apart. I couldn’t. So I chose to write, to express my angst in a book. It’s fiction, of course. But there’s enough reality in it that it means more to me than any other book I’ve ever written…even my first sale all those years ago.
Can you share at least one behind-the-scenes tidbit regarding this story?
At one point in the process I almost pulled the book back from Harlequin because of the changes they wanted me to make to the story. But my editor, Carly Silver (and yes, I stole her name for the heroine of this book), worked with me so I could stay true to my vision and still end up with a saleable book. I tweaked a few things, but the basic storyline didn’t change. That was more important to me than anything.
Condense this story in a few lines so as to give readers an idea of what the book is about.
Can a born protector with a huge question mark hanging over his future and a woman whose private pain once made the six o’clock news and wants to maintain an emotional distance find a way to build a future together? And catch the man trying to kill them both?
What have you enjoyed most about creating the characters in Killer Countdown?
Shane Jones is 41. Carly Edwards is 35. I loved writing the sex…er…love scenes for them. And I deliberately put a LOT of those scenes in the story because…well…ahem…sex drive doesn’t peak at 30. Let’s just leave it at that (he he he).
Do you have any favorite scene in the story?
Funny you should ask that. I have several, but if I wanted to condense the essence of Shane and Carly’s relationship into one scene, it would be the first scene in Chapter 19. It’s what some authors call “the black moment.” Both Shane and Carly hit rock bottom emotionally, yet somehow they both manage to rise from the ashes.
What are you currently working on?
Two books, actually. The first has the working title Black Ops Warrior. It’s Niall Jones’s story. Niall, for those who have read some or all of my books, is the last sibling in the Jones clan.It’s taken me a while to finally get around to Niall, but I think readers will love him.
The other book is tentatively called Covert Ops Rescue. It’s Jason Moore’s story. If you’ve read A Father’s Desperate Rescue you’ve already met Jason, and (hopefully) are anxiously awaiting his story.
But that brings up two interesting points.
First, I always start with my hero. Always. My heroine comes along later, when I need the perfect woman for my hero. Not that my heroines are perfect—they aren’t. But they’re perfect for thehero.
Second, my heroes usually start life as secondary characters in other books.
Cody Walker of Cody Walker’s WomanàReilly’s Return
Trace McKinnon of McKinnon’s Royal Mission ->Reilly’s Return and Cody Walker’s Woman
King Andre Alexei IV of King’s Ransom -> McKinnon’s Royal Mission
Alec Jones of Alec’s Royal Assignment -> McKinnon’s Royal Mission
Liam Jones of Liam’s Witness Protection -> McKinnon’s Royal Mission
Dirk DeWinter of A Father’s Desperate Rescue -> King’s Ransom
Shane Jones of Killer Countdown -> Liam’s Witness Protection
Captain Marek Zale of The Bodyguard’s Bride-To-Be -> King’s Ransom and Alec’s Royal Assignment
Jason Moore ofCovert Ops Rescue -> A Father’s Desperate Rescue
Niall Jones of Black Ops Warrior -> Killer Countdown
See a pattern here?
My characters are real to me. So of course I can’t write their stories until I know them well enough to understand what makes them tick. So it makes perfect sense to me I couldn’t have written Niall Jones’s story until he made an appearance in Killer Countdown (he’s the brother closest in age to Shane, and is Shane’s best friend).
Do you have any advice to share for aspiring writers?
I have two pieces of advice. The first is BICHOK. It stands for “Butt in chair, hands on keyboard.” Merline Lovelace uses that expression, and it’s so appropriate. I interpret it to mean, keep writing until you reach the end. In other words, “finish the damn book!” Thousands of aspiring writers keep polishing the same three chapters and synopsis, but never finish the book. And guess what? You’ll never get published until you do.
The second piece of advice is, learn from my horrendous mistake. I sold two romances in the 90s, then nothing. For years. And years. If all you want is to see your name on a book cover, if selling one book is your ultimate goal, your dream come true, then okay. Go for it. And when you get it, be content. But if you want a writing career, don’t do what I did. Keep writing. Circle back to BICHOK, and keep writing. Because writers write. That’s what writers do.
And that’s a wrap! Thank you for joining me today, Amelia. It has been great fun featuring you. I do hope to see you soon. And folks, do get your copy of Killer Countdown! In the meantime leave a comment in the Comments section for a chance to win a signed copy of Amelia’s book!
Amelia Autin is an inveterate reader who can’t bear to put a good book down…or part with it. Her bookshelves are crammed with books her Ph.D. engineer husband periodically threatens to donate to a good cause, but he always relents…eventually.
Ever practical on the surface despite her lifelong dream of being a professional fiction writer, Amelia obtained a degree in Accounting and her CPA. She then embarked on a successful career in business, but she continued to write…in secret.
She sold her first manuscript in 1994 to Silhouette Books (a division of Harlequin Books S.A. at that time)—the same week she won Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® award for excellence in unpublished romance fiction, in the Long Contemporary Series category.
Amelia returned to her first love, romance writing, after a long hiatus, during which she wrote numerous technical manuals and how-to guides, as well as designed and taught classes on a variety of subjects, including technical writing. She is a long-time member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), and served three years as its treasurer.
She and her husband (aka Bodyguard) love to travel and see the world, and she enjoys including real places she has visited in her books. They currently reside in quiet Vail, Arizona, where they can see the stars at night and have a “million dollar view” of the Rincon Mountains from their back yard.
Amelia loves to hear from her readers. E-mail her at AmeliaAutin@aol.com or send her a friend request on Facebook.