The Goodreads Giveaway for Covert Assignment ends MIDNIGHT on Monday, Dec 2 (which means you have the rest of today, Saturday, and Sunday to enter). If you’re curious about Covert Assignment but on a budget, then this is one way to try to get a copy free.
I’m also thrilled to announce that Covert Assignment and Covert Interview are FOR SALE!
We’re working on distribution to iTunes and Kobo: I’ll let you know when they’re available there!
Edited to Add: I have something called the Covert Case Files up on Amazon, too. Please DO NOT buy it: this is just some extra, behind-the-scenes information. My goal is to get it up for free, but that takes time. If you join my Mailing List before Monday, December 2, then you’ll get it with the mailing.
And for everyone in the United States: Happy Thanksgiving! I celebrate Thanksgiving over the weekend, but I can’t resist posting a picture of our dessert: turkey cake (yeah, we had real turkey for the entree, too ;))
Want a free copy of Covert Assignment? Enter the Goodreads Giveaway for a chance to win a paperback copy!
Finally, I can tell you about the second book in the Covert series! Covert Assignment was about Elle making that final break from her family (more emotionally than literally) and striking out on her own, making her own decisions about her life as she prepares to transition from college to the “real world.”
Covert Interview is what happens when Elle actually steps out into the real world: dealing with her first real job and the reality of adult relationships. Here’s what it’s about:
Covert Interview is the second book in the Covert Series, following Covert Assignment, a New Adult, coming of age series with romance and suspense. After growing up feeling like the unwanted leftovers of her parents’ divorce, Elle Paquet is finally an independent adult when she graduates from college to become an Information Scientist (the 21st century term for Librarian). What’s her first “adult” decision? She nixes her ten-year plan of going to grad school and marrying her college sweetheart to go work for the CIA and see how things turn out with hot agent Preston Raddick.
While Elle’s formal education may be over, life lessons are only just beginning. Preston teaches her a tough lesson about what a fling is and what it isn’t. Meanwhile, the CIA wants to know if she’s merely interested or truly committed to the agency. And are her skills up for the job? When Elle is given an assignment that tests her loyalty to her family and endangers herself and her loved ones, she learns that affiliation with the CIA means excitement can turn to danger at the drop of a hat, just as love can turn to heartbreak. Life as an adult is far harder than Elle ever imagined as she wrestles with unforeseen complications and new opportunities.
Covert Interview is about the unpredictable turns life can take.
Thanks to Rampant Readers for this fantastic review of Covert Assignment!
I’ve got some exciting news about what’s coming up tomorrow. Elle’s life out in the “adult world” takes far more interesting turns than she ever imagined…
Sorry for my radio-silence: I’ve been deep in the writing cave! Here’s another excerpt from Covert Assignment. Next week, I’ll have some exciting news about Covert Interview, the sequel!
Elle never thought about what he did in the evenings. He didn’t live there, so he wasn’t going home. “This must be a dull place to be on assignment.”
Preston shrugged. “I keep myself entertained.”
She couldn’t help but smile. She bet he did. “Something tells me you’re good at keeping yourself entertained.”
He smiled back. “I’ve had a lot of practice, but if you want to assist me in that regard, you have an open invitation.”
Just like that, he had her blushing like a silly schoolgirl. “How do you do that to me?” she asked, laughing.
Preston’s innocent look was classic. “Do what?”
She focused on the menu to give her heart rate time to drop back into a normal range. After they placed their orders, Preston asked, “So have you made a decision about grad school?”
Elle sighed. She hadn’t spoken to her father again- nothing unusual about that- but the news of her acceptance forced her to realize she had some choices to make. “My father called in some favors with a contact there,” she said. “He’s an alum.”
Preston shrugged. “Happens all the time.”
Elle nodded. “It kind of limits my options,” she said.
He gave her a questioning look, so she tried to explain. “He’s called in favors. If I don’t go, it’ll make him look bad.”
“Did you ask your father to call in favors?” Preston asked.
“No! That’s what’s so frustrating. I have the grades and the test scores. I didn’t need any strings pulled.” Elle didn’t bother to mask her annoyance.
The server brought around a basket of bread and olive oil, which both of them reached for at the same time, causing their fingers to touch. Elle wondered if Preston really was magnetic: his touch certainly caused sparks.
“Options that are of no interest to you,” Preston said as he dipped his bread in some olive oil, “aren’t really options. They’re just distractions.”
Elle felt almost transfixed as she watched his gleaming teeth tear into the soaked bread slice. She needed to focus on the conversation at hand. “True,” she admitted, letting the olive oil soak into her bread before taking a bite. “But I might want the option to start a business.”
“You don’t need a law degree or MBA to start a business,” he pointed out. Did he have to raise his eyes to meet her gaze? Had he been focused on her mouth? She didn’t think she was seeing things…“You can learn what you need to know,” he finished.
Elle had thought about that. She’d heard of plenty of entrepreneurs who didn’t have advanced- or even college- degrees. Her Careers class made it abundantly clear that her skills were in high demand, whether she wanted to work for someone or open her own consulting firm. She genuinely enjoyed working on her thesis, while neither practicing law nor working in corporate America held any appeal. Could her father accept that?
“It’s just…” she finally sighed. “I’ve been committed to this plan for so long, and now my father’s gone and called in favors…”
Preston studied her for a moment as the server brought their dishes. “Remember how I told you I planned to join the Agency when I was a kid, watching my father?”
Elle nodded, cutting into her eggplant parmigiana.
“In high school, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do what my old man did. Maybe it was time to do my own thing, you know.” Preston sipped some of his drink. “So I enlisted in the Navy.”
Elle stared at him in shock.
Preston shrugged. “I’d always liked the water, but being on a ship got old pretty fast. Luckily you can take college courses on ships,” he laughed. “Then I decided to really challenge myself, so I went to BUD/S.”
All that earned was a quizzical look from Elle.
“Basic Underwater Demolition training,” Preston elaborated. “To become a Navy SEAL.”
Elle’s mouth literally dropped open. Could this guy get any hotter?
“It was the toughest thing I’ve ever done, earning my trident,” Preston said, “but it was something my Dad had never done. Did a few tours and then joined the agency, like I planned. I had to do my own thing, my own way.”
Elle considered this. “But ultimately you stayed committed to your plan.”
“Because,” he said, holding her eyes with one of his intense gazes, “I realized it was what I wanted to do. Not because it was the plan.”
Elle focused on her breathing to avoid choking or doing something else to embarrass herself in front of him. When he got intense it could be hard to think. But she bet Preston always had a room at his parents’ house, no matter what happened. If she tried something and it didn’t work out, she had nothing to fall back on. Except her informatics skills, a tiny voice reminded her.
“I like doing informatics,” she told Preston. “And working for the- the agency would be pretty… different.”
“Actually, it would be a lot like what you’re doing now,” He said. “You’ll just be doing more of it on different projects.” They both ate in silence for a few minutes. “It’s all about finding a good match: with the understanding that nothing is perfect, of course.”
Elle had to remind herself he was talking about career options.