Allyson Bowen has a secret. Well, she has several, such as her brother was murdered in an explosion at the lab, she let the bad guys into the lab the night that it exploded, and she’s hiding a wanted soldier in the spare bedroom of her condo, but her biggest secret is hidden in her closet. While going to college for advanced degrees in biochemistry and genetics, Allyson picked up a sinful habit. Shoes. Lots and lots of shoes.
In the heart of her condo, hidden in the walk-in closet, is a shoe closet that would make Carrie Bradshaw green with envy (Sex in the City). Allyson has shoes in every color, every heel type, for every occasion, but she has one pair of shoes that she’s never worn as she’s waiting for the right time, the right event, the right man to wear these shoes for. The black slipper portion is classic but understated, but it’s what she’s walking on that makes all the difference. Not the stiletto heel, but the red soles at the bottom of the Christian Louboutin heels that she’s saving for a special day. When Craft enters the closet toward the end of the book, he’s in for a wicked surprise.
Now it’s your turn. What’s your hidden obsession? Shoes, leather jackets, gummy bears?
Craft skimmed those long fingers along her throat, trailing flames down her neck, exploding like the snap and pop of a log in the fire.
“Touch me, Caleb.” Gripping his waist, she pulled so she stood cocooned between his body and the wall. Allyson lifted on her toes. “Taste—”
His mouth swallowed her words, her thoughts, until she no choice but grab hold or fall. Then he wrapped her in an embrace that pulled them together like magnets. Close to him now, caught in his gravity, she opened to the sensations. Firm lips. Demand. The brush of his hand at the small of her back. Under her shirt. Skin-to-skin and those flames burned brighter. The touch traced a line up her spine, engulfing her in sensation. Sparks in her veins as his hands stirred and churned. Then he gripped the back of her neck, tilted, and took the kiss deeper.
She was lost. Free floating, experiencing, memorizing every touch. Lost in the kiss, in the strength of the arm around her, in the heat of his body. Something smooth and enticing took her. Not to weakness, but strength, as he simply melted her bones so that the only thing holding her up was his hand, his strength.
Leaning back, he watched her with dark, mysterious eyes. The green almost fully black. His chest heaved. “I thought to take it slow.”
“If that was slow, I don’t think I can handle fast.”
Behind the Book: Knife Play
Knife play isn’t as dirty as it sounds, but there are a few scenes in DIE BY THE TEAM that incorporate knives. Writing about military guys means learning a lot of interesting stuff about weaponry, so today we’re going to look at what I learned about one of Craft’s trickiest blades (trickiest, not deadliest). My resident knife guy tells me that the butterfly blade isn’t what you want in the middle of a battle, but learning to do tricks does help with dexterity, muscle memory, and gives the user a healthy respect for knives. I consider it the fidget spinner of the typical knife guy, and they have the scars to prove it.
Throughout the books in the series, Craft always has something in his hands. He’s either fiddling with computer part, electronic gadgets, or some other grown-up version of the fidget spinner. He’s full of energy but spends most of his time in front of the computer breaking into classified files. To get rid of the energy, he started playing with knives. Literally. In middle school, Craft started by learning how to use a butterfly blade.
Also known as a balisong, this blade originated in the Philippines. This blade is expensive and dangerous, which may be the draw. It’s considered a pocketknife, but because of the concealed element it is illegal in many places across the globe. The style is what makes it a butterfly or fan blade as two handles rotate in such a way that the blade can be concealed inside the two handles. The fun really is in using it like a baton. I’ve tried the practice blades (no sharp edges) and while I’m not a complete spaz, it takes some dexterity and practice. I think I failed on the hours of practice needed to be an expert like this guy who is using a fully functioning blade (ouch!).
Read DIE BY THE TEAM to see why Craft started learning about knives. It’s really not what you think.
First in series sale
Good morning from Colorado.
For those of you following me since my first release, it's been a VERY long time since I've done any promo. Check below the name block for exciting news about upcoming Team Fear releases.
As a thank you for your patience, I am offering a free e-book copy of Live by the Team. If you haven't purchased it yet, subscribe to the newsletter for your free ebook.
I love my military guys, but before I started the Team Fear series, I wrote FBI/Mafia Romantic Suspense. It all started with Sofia Capri, the former wife of an infamous crime boss who teams up with an FBI agent to find a kidnapped child.
As a surprise bonus, my publisher has placed this first in series on sale for $.99 this week only.
Sofia Capri is untouchable. She exists outside of the law...and outside of the criminal world. When her son is kidnapped, Sofia will do anything to find him. Lie. Cheat. Steal.Anything but trust. But as the stakes rise, will she learn to trust FBI agent Logan Stone? Because he's the only chance she has to get her baby back...
Now the heat is turning up...and time is running out...for everyone.
GET Untouchable on Kindle
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PS. I'm super stoked that Entangled picked my cover of An Untouchable Christmas for their promo (cuz that book cover rocked!).
PPS. For those of you (im)patiently waiting for the next Team Fear book, it's in the hands of the editor now and I anticipate a November 2018 release for Team Fear 4. Who do you think (hope) is the next hero? Tell me what you think on my Facebook page.
Survive by the Team is live!
Title: Survive By The Team Series: Team Fear #3
By: Cindy Skaggs
Publication Date: June 23, 2017
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Cover Designer: Mayhem Cover Creations
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Team Fear #1
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Team Fear #2
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Her socks snagged on the raw floorboards as she followed. âAre you sure you donât feel fear?â
âThen why are you backing away from me?â
Hell if he knew. Heâd been dying to touch her. Taste her. Dead center of the attic, he stopped and she walked straight into him. Her body was flush against his. Her curves turned his mind to mush. Doing the right thing no longer mattered.
He cupped her neck. So fragile.
He rubbed a knuckle along her jawline. So soft.
âThis is a mistake,â he warned. The flutter of her pulse beat against his hands.
âIf weâre going to make a mistake,â she said, lifting onto her tiptoes, âbetter make it a good one.â
âHell yeah.â That was a philosophy he could get behind. It was too late to keep things platonic, but she needed to understand what she was getting into. Bracing a hand on either side of her face, he forced her to look at him. âI set the pace. I lead.â
She swallowed. âIs there any other way?â
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Team Fear 3 Cover Reveal
Time for the next Team Fear book. This time, Sgt. Stills is in the hot seat and he is ah-mazing!
It's a Viking Thing 2.0
For the most part, my heritage is American mutt, but my maternal grandfather came here from Sweden, and we have a strong tie to the Viking realm in our family mythology, yet when Rose appeared in the pages of Team Fear book 1, it surprised me that he was a Viking. Sure, he was from Iowa, but his family came from the Old Country.
My mother's step dad (her father died when she was 6) always said the following in his thick Scandinavian tongue:
When they got to this country, they traveled west until they found a land as miserable as the old country.
For Reuben, that was South Dakota and Minnesota and the rich farmland there, but for Rose, it's Iowa. Rose grew up in farm country, but he's a warrior at heart. As often happens with my characters, Rose evolved from the ether. I believe they become people, not characters, the more I let them have their head. I knew in the opening chapter that Rose had a tattoo, but I didn't know what it was. It's meaning was hidden from me until after the first round of edits when I searched for Viking tattoos. The Vegvisir (Icelandic, but Viking...we can't all be Swedes) is symbolic, the symbol to help the bearer navigate through storms, heavy seas, and other stormy weather. Other sites say it's the equivalent to "all who wander are not lost." Either way, the symbol of the Vegvisir is for travelers in a storm. A means of finding your way. Which is exactly what Rose needs. The Army used him to create a fearless fighting force, but Rose has more than a country to defend and protect. He has his mother and six sisters, which I pulled from my father's genealogy as he was the oldest sibling with six sisters (and also from Iowa). A warrior is made, not born, and some men could walk away from the responsibility. Not Rose (or my father, but that's a story for another day). Rose stepped up to protect his family, and in so doing, he opened himself up to experimentation by the U.S. Army.
Rose didn't have an easy life, so the Viking Compass--as the Vegvisir is also called--is a reminder to him. There is guidance in heavy storms, there is help along the way, and despite the way it feels inside, Rose is not lost or broken or forgotten. While Rose is willing to sacrifice himself for those he loves, Debi hopes he won't have to go it alone.
Rose is one of those "people" who changed me, because I understand his intense need to defend and protect. I would give my life to protect my children, and Rose would do the same for his sisters. The Viking Compass on his back is a reminder and a comfort. He is not alone.
For years, I have considered a tattoo, but never had a strong enough desire for one particular image or symbol to be eternally on my flesh. The Vegvisir (the Viking Compass) is a symbol of my ancestors that I would proudly wear. If you go to my Pinterest page, you'll see several examples of wonderful tattoos that I'm currently considering.
Do you have a tattoo? What is it, where is it, and what does it mean to you? :)
(this is a repost of an article I wrote for the old blog that mysteriously disappeared)
Funny story. During the Mercury Retrograde Incident in September 2016, Cindy's original blog disappeared. Five years, gone in a random act of chaos. Now she gets to repopulate her blog world one post at a time. Join her if you dare. :)