Shannon here: Terri Reed shares a romantic excerpt from her latest Romantic Suspense, Christmas Protection Detail. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for one of Terri’s backlist books and an ornament. Two commenters will win both prizes. Deadline: Dec 19th, 11:59 central time. Here’s Terri:
In Christmas Protection Detail, our heroine, Kaitlyn, and hero, Nick, have known each other for a year. They first met in the book, Buried Mountain Secrets, and then clashed again in Secret Mountain Hideout.
There was something really special about these two. I hadn’t planned to pair them at the beginning when I was developing this series, but every time they were together on the page, sparks flew. I knew they had to have their own story.
As I brainstormed the plot, I also knew I needed something to happen that would push them together, out of their comfort zones and force them to let go of their preconceived expectations of each other. An innocent baby to protect was the perfect way to bring Kaitlyn and Nick together.
This is the opening scene of the book and you can see what I mean about sparks.
Excerpt from Christmas Protection Detail:
Deputy Kaitlin Lanz climbed the short stepladder to reach the last few branches needing to be decorated on the Christmas tree in the Bristle Township Community Center. The combined celebration of the season and the retirement of Bristle Township’s sheriff, James Ryder, was in full swing all around her. Christmas tunes played from the speakers mounted to the ceiling. The music competed with the many conversations taking place.
It seemed the whole town had turned out for the festivities. Kaitlin had to admit she was pleased that so many people wanted to wish her boss—uh, former boss—well.
She sent up a quick prayer that nothing would mar the festive event. For some reason, she’d been anxious lately. Nothing specific, just a vague sense of doom that hit her at odds times. She chalked it up to losing the sheriff to fishing and traveling.
It had been several months since there’d been any real trouble in town or any need for the mounted patrol to mobilize. Not that she was complaining, because she loved being a part of the Bristle County sheriff’s department’s long tradition of patrols on horseback.
Like similar units in many Western states, the mounted patrol was comprised of both armed deputies and unarmed civilian volunteers, also referred to as auxiliary members. They provided search and rescue as well as community and forest patrols. It was one of the various aspects of her job as keeper of the peace that utilized her many skills. She took pride in her job and always strove to do well at protecting the citizens of her town.
But tonight, she wasn’t going to let anything keep her from enjoying the party.
“A little to the left.”
The deep baritone voice caused her to jerk and fumble with the ornament she was attempting to hang on the large Douglas fir tree standing in the corner of the community center. Balanced on top of the stepladder to reach a high branch, she wobbled. So much for enjoying the party. Nick Delaney, the second in line to inherit the Delaney fortune, had become the bane of her existence over the past year.
He grasped her by the waist with surprising strength, stabilizing her on the short ladder. “Steady there.”
She threw an irritated glance over her shoulder at the man. “I’ve got it.”
“Of course. But maybe hang it a little to the left,” he said, directing her placement of the glittery ornament.
Her heart thumped maddeningly. And not because she’d almost fallen from the ladder. Nick looked good tonight. As always. So maddening. Could he, just once, be
He was dressed to impress in crisply creased black slacks and a finely tailored gray sport coat over a dark green mock turtleneck sweater. His dark hair was swept off his forehead to accentuate his chiseled cheekbones. His dark eyes sparkled, and his grin was much too confident.
From the moment she’d met the younger son of the local eccentric billionaire, Nick’s arrogance had rubbed her nerves raw.
Abruptly, she turned back to the tree, placed the ornament where she had intended and stepped down from the ladder, forcing him to release his hold and move back to give her room. “I like it where it is.”
He shrugged. “You know best, deputy.”
She gritted her back teeth. He made the moniker sound pretentious. Turning her attention to the tree, she realized with a sinking sensation he’d been right. The turtle dove glass bauble she’d brought from home needed to be a bit more to the left for symmetry.
Ah, well. She wasn’t perfect and neither were her ornament hanging abilities. But she certainly wouldn’t give Nick the satisfaction of knowing she regretted not listening to his advice. Had it been anyone else, she no doubt would have adjusted the ornament accordingly. What was it about Nick that put her on edge all the time?
About Terri: Terri Reed’s romance and romantic suspense novels have appeared on Publisher’s Weekly top twelve, Nielsen’s Bookscan top fifty, Amazon Bestseller and featured in USA Today. Her books have been finalists in Romance Writers of America RITA contest, National Readers’ Choice Award, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award and finalists three times in American Christian Fiction Writers The Carol Award contest. Her novel A Family Under the Christmas Tree was adapted into a Hallmark movie retitled Picture a Perfect Christmas. Contact Terri @ P.O. Box 19555 Portland, OR 97224. Learn more and connect:
About the book – Christmas Protection Detail:
He’ll do anything to protect a baby in jeopardy…
When a call from a friend in trouble leads Nick Delaney and Deputy Kaitlyn Lanz to a car crash that killed a single mother, they become the baby’s protectors. Now figuring out why someone is after the child is the only way to save her. But they must find answers soon…or this baby’s first Christmas might just be Nick’s and Kaitlyn’s last.
Can’t wait for the drawing? Worried you won’t win?
Interested in Terri’s other titles?
Get your copies now! Terri’s Amazon Page
Because this story is set at Christmas, it seemed fitting to start with a fun activity that we can all relate to, decorating a tree. My favorite ornament is a walnut painted white with little blue mess wings, a gold halo, and a painted face of an angel. It was given to me when I was a child by my grandmother. It always makes me smile.
Question for Readers: Do you have a favorite ornament you put up every year?
Come back Dec 11th for Carole Brown!