Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"The Spy Who Wants Me"


It has been a crazy week in the Lucy office. Lots of emails, orders, research, you name it. I still have a stack of filing that needs to get done this week along with the weekly routine. I thought to relieve some of the pressure I would offer a prize

If you have a crazy work story, share it on the blog for a chance to win "The Spy Who Wants Me". If you win and have already read TSWWM then I will send another book of your choice if we have it in stock.

Enjoy the excerpt from The Spy Who Wants Me!

Elle was stupefied.

No one had ever copped her cover. No one had ever even come close. To identify her as a federal agent as her family had done would be one thing, though implausible without inside information. But to know that she was an agent for TGP? She would have said that was not possible.

So few people were even aware of the existence of her agency, the risk of one of them ever running into her personally was almost nil. And even if they did so? To know that she worked for said agency, was beyond improbable. Without a leak in TGP, it should be impossible.

How then did Mr. Smith know about TGP and further, how had he discovered she was an agent?

Was there a leak? Oh, man, she needed to talk to her boss.

While thoughts whirled in her head – speculation competing with prospective answers to Mr. Smith’s words – she let her gaze fall first on Frank and then Beau. Neither showed the least surprise at Mr. Smith’s words. They had known. Beau had known. This whole time.

“Before you attempt to deny your status as a TGP agent, or your assignment here to discover both what we are working on and the true status of the antigravity experiment, let me assure you, it would be useless. Not only do I know which agency you work for, but I know the name of your boss and in fact think it would be a good idea to bring him in on this meeting.”

Elle crossed her arms and sat back in her chair. When in doubt, maintain silence. It was neither an admission, nor a denial.

“Frank, will you please call the number I gave you earlier and request the man who answers to join our discussion?”

“Of course, sir.”

Elle waited while the connection was made.

“Hello?” The Old Man’s voice came over the speaker phone, cautious but unmistakably his.

Adrenalin surged through her at this further evidence Mr. Smith had way more information than he should have, but she maintained her calm fa├žade while she waited to see what came next.

“Hello, Whit. We’re having a meeting with your agent Elle Gray and thought you should be brought in on it.”

Several beats of silence and then, “I’m not sure what you are talking about. I don’t have agents.”

Mr. Smith laughed. “While Ms. Gray is technically a Goddard Project agent, TGP is your baby so that makes her your agent, wouldn’t you say?”

“TGP?” The Old Man asked carefully.

“Please, let’s dispense with the subterfuge,” Mr. Smith said.

“Who am I speaking with?”

“I’ll answer that, since I seem to be the topic of this conversation, as bizarre as it might be.”

When Mr. Smith had called Whit by his name, Elle was utterly convinced he did indeed know about TGP and her role as an agent. She didn’t know how he knew and that was something they would have to investigate, but she didn’t want The Old Man worried that she was at risk. So, she’d used her code word – bizarre – to let him know she was not in any known physical danger. It was not her code for all green, however.

This situation was too fantastic for her to be okay with it.

“You are speaking with Mr. Smith, benefactor and founder of Environmental Technology Research and Development. In the room with us is Frank Ingram, Company Controller. We’re actually at the conference table in his office. The only other person in the room is Dr. Beau Ruston, second in command to Mr. Ingram. I am Elle Gray, a security consultant hired by the company. Although the room is clean since I disarmed the single listening device my equipment detected, I can’t tell you whether or not our conversation is being recorded or listened to by anyone else via the one-way video conference apparatus Mr. Smith is using.”

There. She’d apprised her boss of the situation, let him know she hadn’t admitted to anything and left any revelations made up to his discretion. If her fury at the situation leaked through her words, The Old Man would understand it. The idea that someone within The Goddard Project was feeding information to the outside was more than disconcerting, it was devastating.

The agents and support personnel for TGP were more than her co-workers, in a very real sense, they were a second family.

Beau was looking at her with that odd expression again. Only now, maybe she understood it. He’d met her knowing she was pretending to be something less than what she was. And because of that, he didn’t trust her. A lot of things made more sense to her.

But one thing didn’t. Why had he made love to her the night before? It had been the first time she’d had sex in four years without some ulterior motive. The prospect that he’d had one left a hollow feeling in the pit of her stomach.

“I see,” Whit said. “Mr. Smith, do you have a first name?”

“Of course.”

“Do you mind sharing it?”

“I do.”

“I see.”

Silence again. “This situation certainly is bizarre.”

The Old Man might be giving her tacit approval for her handling of the circumstances and agreement that she did not appear to be in imminent physical danger, or simply stating the truth.

“I am sorry it seems that way to you.”

“Ahh…” The Old Man sounded like he was pleased about something. “I thought your voice sounded familiar, Mr. Smith.”

“So, you recognize it?” the other man asked.

“Yes.”

“If I assure you the conversation is neither being recorded nor listened to by anyone not already listed by Ms. Gray, will you believe me?”

Silence.

Elle waited. Everyone waited. Even Mr. Smith, who said nothing else.

Finally, “I will,” came from The Old Man.

“Good. Can we dispense with the cloak and dagger regarding Ms. Gray’s role here at ETRD?”

“It would be pointless to refuse, however I expect you to tell me how you got into my computers and identified my agent.”

“Will do. Later.”

Mr. Smith and The Old Man knew each other? And trusted each other? This case was getting stranger by the minute. She didn’t know there was anyone Andrew “Whit” Whitney trusted outside of his precious TGP. But the way her boss talked, made it sound like Mr. Smith himself was responsible for the leak in information. That he had somehow hacked into TGP’s computers.

Which put him in league ability wise with about three computer hackers in the world. Unless he had one of them working for him.




Thursday, February 19, 2009

Character Unite: The Pledge

Hey Everyone!

Today I received an email from Lucy asking that I post a blog about Characters Unite by USA network. I had never heard of this before and actually signed up myself .

Characters Unite is about changing our country and looking past the differences in ourselves. I'll admit that I have been quick to judge in life and I'm sure others have judged me (especially when I was 14 and full of piercings/black clothing!!!). This is something that both Lucy and I truly believe in and if you have a couple of minutes (which we all do) take a look at the website and pledge yourself.

Lucy is also in the works with a new idea called the "Open Hearts Fund". I'm currently in the process of researching how to setup this non-profit fund and get it off the ground. This non-profit has the same elements as the Characters Unite but with the hopes of raising funds to help introduce new media into our society about celebrating our differences!

Take a look at http://charactersunite.com/#/home
I'll keep you posted on new and upcoming ideas and events.

have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

NEWS NEWS NEWS!!!

Take a look at the latest news...

Lucy will be speaking at the 2009 Readers Luncheon in Portland, OR on April 18th 2009. Click here to see all the details!

Also

The organizers of World Book Day are running a "Guilty Secrets" campaign, where the public is invited to vote for the books they most enjoy reading (but don't like telling people about!).

What a wonderful chance to put in a word for your own books. The list of authors comprise the usual suspects and Mills & Boon is listed as an option!

Wouldn't it be wonderful to pip JKR or Grisham to the post? So if you, (and all your friends and relations) log on and vote...

P.S. a personal email address might be wiser than your official nom de plume ones.

With thanks,
http://www.spread-the-word.org.uk/guilty-secrets/

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Harlequin - FREE BOOKS!!!

To thank our many readers for taking us into their hearts and homes for 60 years and making us the world's leading publisher of romantic fiction, Harlequin is giving every woman in America and Canada a free book.

In fact, we're giving away 16 free Books that readers can download.

As you are very aware, one of the best ways to increase readership of romance novels is by getting potential readers to "sample." With our 60th anniversary we are able to both celebrate and reach a new audience. We hope you will help romance novels become the viral story of 2009!

We are asking you to include the following information on your website, blog, social media page(s). Anywhere and everywhere you are in the digital space in 2009.

  • You can link to www.HarlequinCelebrates.com
  • I have attached our 60th anniversary logo for your use.
  • If you would like book cover images just let me know and I can send to you (let me know if you have any preferences).
  • The titles are available as a PDF and in all eBook formats. There is no drm (digital rights management)
  • The titles are also available as a Stanza App for the iPhone and iPod Touch
  • The titles can also be found at all the online retailers like Sony, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Fictionwise.com, eReader.com, etc.
  • The 16 free books (one for every series) will be available throughout 2009.

The free books:

Harlequin American Romance, Once a Cowboy by Linda Warren

Harlequin Blaze, Slow Hands by Leslie Kelly

Harlequin Historical, His Lady Mistress by Elizabeth Rolls

Harlequin Intrigue, Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch by B.J. Daniels

Harlequin Presents, Price of Passion by Susan Napier

Harlequin Romance, The Bride's Baby by Liz Fielding

Harlequin Superromance, Snowbound by Janice Kay Johnson

Silhouette Desire, Baby Bonanza by Maureen Child

Silhouette Nocturne, Kiss Me Deadly by Michele Hauf

Silhouette Romantic Suspense, Stranded with a Spy by Merline Lovelace

Silhouette Special Edition, Dancing in the Moonlight by Raeanne Thayne

Love Inspired, A Very Special Delivery by Linda Goodnight

Love Inspired Historical, Homespun Bride by Jillian Hart

Love Inspired Suspense, Hide in Plain Sight by Marta Perry

Kimani Romance, Irresistible Forces by Brenda Jackson

Nascar, Speed Dating by Nancy Warren

Winner for last weeks prize!

I enjoyed all of your comments last week! Thanks for giving some great perspectives all around. Congratulations to Lidia, you have won a copy of Lucy's latest book "The Spy Who Wants Me."

All you have to do is send me an email with your address and I'll get the prize out to you, PRONTO! lucymonroe.promo@gmail.com

Have a great weekend and look forward to special - longer excerpts next week.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

I'm back!

Well,

It's good to be back in the Lucy office taking care of business. I got yesterday off because It was my birthday. Hooray - I'm 20 years old now! It is somewhat weird though because I'm no longer a teenager. Even when I turned 18 and became an adult it still feels younger than it is? Does that make sense?

I have a question that everyone has been asking me. 20 is the in between year in the United States when the only real change is losing your teenager status. 21 seems to be much more of a turning point because of the ability to buy alcohol. Do you think alcohol should be legal before or after the age of 21? Tell me why you feel the way you do and I will randomly pick a winner for the "Andre just turned 20 prize!" Check out the comments to see what I think!


Enjoy the excerpt from "The Spy Who Wants Me"

Beau didn’t say anything after Elle left. He just waited in silence while Frank called Mr. Smith. Their conversation was not a long one, but Frank looked very upset when it was over.

“What’s the matter?” Beau asked immediately.

“Mr. Smith said that TGP policy is to take an agent whose cover has been blown to a potentially hostile source off of active field duty.”

“Elle’s going to get fired because that little creep was bugging your office?”

“Not fired. Reassigned.”

Same damn thing. “That’s bullshit.”

“I agree.”

“Why the hell did Mr. Smith tell us about her if that could happen?”

“He trusts us. We aren’t potentially hostile witnesses.”

“It was still a huge risk he had no right taking on her behalf.”

“Mr. Smith doesn’t see it that way.”

“Bastard.”

“He’s still your boss, Beau.”

“But for how long is in question.”

“You won’t leave ETRD over this?” Frank asked, alarmed.

“I don’t know, Frank. Elle loves her job, but she’s going to lose it because of Mr. Smith’s little games.”

“He has his reasons for doing things.”

“They’re not good enough when they impact other people’s lives like this.”

“He didn’t expect this outcome.”

“He’s smarter than the average man, he should have known it was a possibility.”

“I think we all made the mistake of trusting everyone who works for ETRD too deeply.”

“Damn right, including trusting Mr. Smith.”

“He suggested I wait to fire Archer until after the issue with Chantal has been dealt with to minimize the risk to both Elle’s investigation and our employee.”

“That’s not going to save Elle’s job though.”

“No, it isn’t. Keeping Archer on won’t either though. Even if I could stand to do so. Working for us or not, Mr. Smith informs me that he would be considered a potentially hostile party.”

Beau nodded. A man who would bug his own boss’ office isn’t someone that could be trusted to keep his knowledge of Elle and TGP to himself. “We don’t know for a fact Archer overheard those particular conversations.”

“His behavior implies he makes it a habit to listen in on our morning meetings. We discussed Elle Gray and The Goddard Project during at least two different meetings.”