I know y’all have been wondering what I’ve been working on. TILL DEATH (#1, Logan’s Lonestar Heroes) of course! This is the first book in a new non-cowboy, western romantic suspense series called Logan’s Lonestar Heroes. TILL DEATH, which is Dave Logan’s story, will be released on NOVEMBER 10th, so please be looking for it! Dave Logan also has his own Facebook page where I’ll be posting teasers, excerpts, photos and who knows, Dave might even pop in now and again to ask and answer questions for you. www.facebook.com/loganslonestarheroes
Background info on TILL DEATH:
Dave Logan is in for a rough ride. I’ve paired him up with Susan Whitmore, former Special Agent In Charge of the Dallas FBI.
Susan shows up on Dave’s doorstep at Deep Six Security and tells him it’s his fault she lost her job. She expects him to hire her. Dave knows it’s not his fault she got fired. It was a damned miracle she hadn’t been fired long ago for her infamous mouth. But then she tells him she’s paying her sister’s college tuition at a fancy private college, and doesn’t know how she’ll continue to do that with no job.
His white-knight inclinations kick in, and Dave feels sorry for her. He hires her against his better judgment, but not as an agent. He hires her as his secretary, but only temporarily, until she can find something else.
The question was could she rein in that mouth of hers and get along with his guys to last at Deep Six Security? That would have to be seen, but Dave didn’t hold out much hope.
_____EXCERPT FROM TILL DEATH_____________________
Excerpt from Till Death (#1, Logan’s Lonestar Heroes) (c) Becky McGraw, September 2014
“Did you hear? The Barracuda walked out of the Dallas Regional Office yesterday,” Slade said, leaning back in the chair across from Dave Logan’s desk.
Dave only half-listened to him. It looked to him like his friend and second-in-command was settling in for a shoot-the-shit session this afternoon that he just didn’t have time for right now. The email on his computer screen was much more important. It was from a high-powered Dallas attorney who wanted to hire the Deep Six Security Team to find a missing baby.
Well, not missing really. A baby that was undelivered to the wealthy, childless couple who had bought and paid for the child through a designer baby facility. Perfectly legal in today’s age, but the couple had spent nearly half a million dollars for the missing baby, yet they had absolutely no parental rights when the surrogate mother decided to take the baby shortly after birth and run.
Dave was certain the wealthy oilman client of the attorney also didn’t want this to become public anyway. The attorney who was contacting him knew that covert, confidential missions were Dave’s specialty. They had worked together before. But like a persistent fly buzzing around his head, Slade’s casually spoken words buzzed around in his brain for a second then settled. His hand froze on the mouse and he dropped it to spin in his chair to face Slade.
“Did you just say that Susan Whitmore quit the FBI?”
Slade grinned and reached down to scratch between his dog Lola’s ears. “Yep. Turned in her badge and walked right out the front door yesterday morning.”
“What happened?” Dave’s mind whirled with possibilities. The woman was so damned abrasive it was a wonder she hadn’t been fired long before now. He was sure she hadn’t just stepped on toes over there, she probably ground them into the floor under her ugly low-heeled agency-issued shoes. Susan was that damned mouthy. That woman had no filter whatsoever. How she’d gotten into that position as Special Agent In Charge of the FBI Dallas Regional Office at only thirty-years-old he didn’t know.
Yes he did. Despite her youth, her mouth, and shoot-from-the-hip style, Susan Whitmore was hands down the smartest woman he’d ever met. MENSA smart. She’d told him so when they first met, but he thought that was just arrogance talking. Working with her indirectly for the last six years had proven her words though.
Dave had developed a lot of respect for her intelligence, but none for her methods. The woman had zero people skills. She was one of those who didn’t care who she stepped on as long as she came out on top at the end of the game. She’d come very close to stepping on him a few times. Yeah, Dave respected Susan, but he didn’t like her. Not one bit.
Dave knew her men at the bureau felt the same way about her. Thus, the nickname they’d pinned on her. The Barracuda. It fit. Every damned word out of her mouth was sharp enough to slice a grown men into tiny, bite-sized pieces. Susan Whitmore was a man-eater. Her men, hell all men, mostly steered clear of her. But this business wasn’t about liking people, it was about getting the job done, and grudgingly, Dave had to admit she did that. In spades. That led him to wonder again what would have caused her to resign.
Dave might not like her, but he was definitely going to miss having Susan Whitmore as his contact at the bureau. She had always been open to working with outside investigators. Her replacement might not feel the same way. Some of the agents at the bureau resented having to deal with outside contractors. It would take time to establish a relationship with someone new. That could cause delays in the cases he took on from here on out.
Slade shrugged and pushed on the arms of the chair to stand. “I don’t know what went down. Carmen called me as soon as it happened, but she couldn’t talk. The walls over there have ears, so I’m meeting her for a beer at the Underground tonight to get the scoop.” Slade bent to take Lola’s leash, which Dave insisted he keep on her inside the office. Lola liked to sneak into the kitchen for a snack, which often included someone’s lunch they left out on the counter.
Dave spun his chair back toward the computer screen. He tapped his mouse to wake up the monitor. “Let me know what you find out.”
“You should hire her,” Slade said at the doorway.
Dave’s eyes shot back to him, with his eyebrows near his hairline. “Are you out of your fucking mind?”
Slade shrugged, and grinned. “She has a black belt in martial arts of some kind, and is pretty damned smart.”
Dave laughed. “She’s also a smart ass who would run off every man here, and probably half of my clients. Hell, I’d probably be running for the door too.” He shook his head then looked back at his computer. “I like my team just like it is. I don’t need drama, Slade.”
“But you do need more men, or women, boss man. As much as you hate to admit it, we’re spread too thin right now. It’s only going to get worse.”
“I’ll just slow down on taking new cases,” Dave grumbled, as he opened the next email in his inbox.
“So says the man sitting there staring at yet another case he’s thinking of taking on, right?”
Dave’s face heated and he glanced back at Slade. “I’m just reading my damned emails, and I could do that better if you’d leave me the hell alone.”
“How many are about new cases? How many of those will you turn down?” Slade pressed, probably knowing Dave wasn’t likely to turn down any. It was an addiction fueled by the white-knight complex he’d fought all his life. They both knew it.
Dave’s eyebrows slammed down over his eyes. “I’m not hiring Susan Whitmore. No way, no how. Not in this lifetime.”
“And you’re not hiring your sister when she comes back from the sandbox at Christmas time either, right?”
“No, I’m not hiring Cee Cee either.”
One of Slade’s eyebrows lifted along with the corner of his mouth. “You have something against women working with us?”
“Hell no,” Dave replied with a snort. There were a lot of capable women he’d hire. Just not those two.
“Looks that way,” Slade needled. “How many women have you hired?”
“Are you calling me a sexist?” Dave asked indignantly. He’d about had enough of his friend’s insinuations.
“If the sex fits,” Slade replied with a laugh of his own. “There are a lot of women in the service these days, and I’d serve alongside a lot of them.” Slade stood and had the audacity to wink at Dave. “Or under them.”
“And that’s one more reason I don’t hire women here. One comment like that around a woman would get me a lawsuit I don’t need. You guys are not used to being around polite company.”
“And you are?” Slade rolled his eyes and turned toward the door. “I’ll let you know what I get from Carmen tonight.”
“I’m not sure I want to know what you get from Carmen tonight,” Dave replied with a growl. “Just make sure she doesn’t get anything from you.”
Carmen was Slade’s friend with benefits over at the agency. The curvy brunette seemed to know everything that went on over at that big brick fortress, and had no qualms about spilling her guts to Slade given the right incentive. And his friend gave her that often.
The problem with people like that was they usually carried info both ways. He knew Slade wouldn’t intentionally give up confidential Deep Six information, but pillow talk was a dangerous thing. Slade’s beefy shoulders tensed and he swung back around with his eyebrows pinched together over angry blue eyes.
Dave held up his hands. “I’m sorry. That was uncalled for.” It really was. Dave trusted Slade implicitly, and it was insulting to his friend to indicate otherwise. He had more than proven himself while they served together, and even more during the six years they’d worked together at Deep Six.
Slade’s face relaxed, and Dave continued. “See if she’s heard anything about a designer baby factory working in the area.”
Curiosity quickly replaced Slade’s anger. “Designer baby facility?”
“Yeah, I got an email from an attorney,” Dave said with a nonchalant shrug.
“You got an email and are thinking about taking on another case you mean?” Slade corrected, and the frustration in his voice worked on Dave’s guilt.
Dave knew Deep Six Security was spread too thin, way past thin. But these paying cases were important. The money would definitely be welcome to pay off the new equipment he’d bought earlier in the year. If he turned down paying cases there were no guarantees there would be more there tomorrow to cover those hefty notes. Like his grandfather always told him, they needed to make hay while the sun shone. Keeping them cutting edge wasn’t cheap, and Dex was always coming up with a new gadget the team couldn’t live without. Taking on every paying case would also give them wiggle room to take on the cases they didn’t get paid for as needed.
But he didn’t owe anyone an explanation. Even Slade. Slade was his best friend, but he also worked for Dave. He needed to remember that. Dave was the only one who made the decisions for Deep Six Security. It was his name on those loans, and him who paid Slade and the other men’s generous salaries.
He tilted his chin up a notch, and fisted his hands. “Just ask her.”
Slade sighed, and it sounded like Lola did too. His friend stared at him for a second, before shaking his head and walking out of the office.
Once he was alone, Dave’s shoulders sagged. Slade was right, they definitely needed to hire more men. Dave had interviewed a lot recently, but he just hadn’t found the right ones to hire yet. Maybe he was just being too picky, but no matter how hard up he was, Dave was not just going to hire anyone. He needed to be able to trust every man he hired implicitly. The team needed that too to be effective. From his service in the marines, Dave knew the importance of a cohesive team. One bad apple could reduce the whole cart to splinters.
He’d worked too damned hard to let that happen.