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CONTESTS & FUN

with USA TODAY Bestselling Author 

Julie Miller!

 

September Book GiveAway!
 


My monthly Book GiveAway Contest is back! This month, enjoy the exciting beginning to my October 21st release, CROSSFIRE CHRISTMAS, my 50th Book for Harlequin! To enter, simply read the excerpt from CROSSFIRE CHRISTMAS, answer the easy question at the end of the excerpt and email me your answer along with your name and contact info. I'll give away a copy of a book from my backlist (digital or print, winner's choice--print versions dependent on availability) to one lucky entrant. My dog Maggie will select the winner from amongst the entries with the correct answer. Deadline to enter is September 24.
 
 

 


 

 


 

 

   

Rules for Julie's Contests

  • One entry per person.
  • By entering, entrants grant permission for their name to be posted on the Julie Miller web site at www.juliemiller.org and in Julie's newsletter.
  • Winners will be chosen by random drawing from among all entries.
  • The odds of winning depend upon the number of participants.
  • Void where prohibited.


MEET JULIE!

Sept. 15 - 16

Killer Romance Launch Party on Facebook

Nov. 3

Harlequin Intrigue NOIR Launch Party on Facebook  

Nov. 10 - 14

Intrigue NOIR Discussion at Harlequin.com  

 

 

Julie in San Antonia, TX at the 2014 RWA National Conference

 

50 Book pin presentation is Craig Swinwood-CEO Harlequin Enterprises, Dianne Moggy-Editorial Director, HQ Ent, Moi, Leslie Kelly-fellow 50-book award recipient, Lorianna Sacilotto-VP, HQ Ent

Sitting beside me at the Harlequin party is Linda O. Johnston

 

BJ Daniels, Delores Fossen and me

 

Julie in Atlanta, GA at the 2013 RWA National Conference

Julie with good buddy B.J. Daniels

Delores Fossen, Julie Miller, B.J. Daniels


 

RECENT APPEARANCES

Julie Miller at the PRW 20th Anniversary

 
Julie's local writing group, the Prairieland Romance Writers, celebrates 20 years of excellence in romance fiction at an anniversary Open House in Grand Island, NE
 
Prairieland Romance Writers celebrates 20 years of excellence in romance fiction!

 

Author Julie Miller

Authors Scott and Julie Miller

Kearney, NE Booksigning, The Sequel Bookshop
Julie Miller, and Scott & Julie Miller

 

Independence, MO Booksigning
L-R Saranna DeWylde, Julie Miller, Janette Kenney, Sherri Shackelford, Cheryl St. John
 

Julie in New York City at the 2011 RWA National Conference
 

Julie Miller--Times Square

View of Times Square from Julie's hotel room
 

Julie Miller @ Transformers movie premiere

Julie at the Transformers movie premiere (Hi, Bumblebee!)

Julie Miller--Times Sqaure & Broadway

Times Square and Broadway

Julie Miller--RWA NYC 2011

My roomie, Elle James, Brenda Jackson, and my agent Pattie Steele-Perkins at the RWA booksigning

Julie Miller--RWA NYC 2011

The massive Literacy Autographing at RWA
 

 

 

Julie in Los Angeles, CA, at the 2011 RT BOOKreviews Convention
 

""The Do's & Dont's of Series Romance " workshop with Judy Duarte, Candace Havens, Julie Miller and B.J. Daniels.

"Lights! Camera! Party! the Series Romance Way" Reader Event
Back row: Kira Sinclair, HelenKay Dimon, B.J. Daniels, Lynn Raye Harris
Middle row: Judy Duarte, Crystal Green, Rebecca York, Candace Havens, Janette Kenney, Jan Hambright, Delores Fossen, Brenda Jackson
Front row: Kathleen O'Reilly, Kimberly Lang, Jade Lee/Kathy Lyons, Carol Erickson, Julie Miller

 


At the Booksigning


View from my hotel The Westin Bonaventure  in downtown L.A.


Went to hear Dean Koontz speak. Delightfully witty and educational! (and one of my fave authors!)


Barn View from my hotel, the Hollywood sign in the distance up in the Hollywood Hills.

 

 

Crossfire Christmas by Julie Miller

CROSSFIRE CHRISTMAS

Copyright  ©2014 by Julie Miller

Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A.

(Excerpt)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You’re a dead man, Nash!”
            DEA Agent Charlie Nash slammed his back against the metal shelves that had blocked the spray of bullets and saved his life.  One step slower and he’d be bleeding out on the floor like the young man in the suit and long coat lying in the open aisle beside Thug One.
            “Kid?”  He wasn’t really expecting a response.
            He didn’t get one.  Check one more black mark in the loss column of his soul.
            Yet there was no time for guilt or regret or even grief.  He’d spotted the trap the moment he’d pulled into the parking garage and would have backed out then, evading the threat that had trailed him seven hundred miles from Texas to Kansas City, Missouri.  But with the rookie handler climbing out of his car without a clue, Nash had been left with no choice but to stay put and warn the young agent back into his vehicle.
            Revealing himself to the three goons lying in wait hadn’t made a damn bit of difference.
            The kid was still dead.
            And he was still the Graciela cartel’s most wanted man.
            The cop who’d put together the plan to stop them.
            Nash pulled a bandanna from the back pocket of his jeans and tied it around his left thigh, trying to slow down the blood weeping from the wound there.  As he tightened the makeshift bandage, he listened to the clomp of running feet, pinpointing the locations of the two remaining assailants as they tried to flank him.  He ignored the throbbing burn in his leg and fought to calm his labored breathing so the clouds of stress and exertion in the open warehouse’s wintry air wouldn’t give his position away.  He figured he had about two minutes--three if he was lucky--to find a way out of this mess.
            The desk agent who’d met him in this rundown auto-parts warehouse near the Missouri River to try to help him reestablish his undercover persona hadn’t been so lucky.  He’d wager most of the car parts in this place weren’t legal, and that Tommy Delvecchio had never been in the middle of a real firefight before.  Stupid kid must not have been wearing his flak vest, judging by the size of that puddle of blood seeping out beneath him.
            If Delvecchio had been one of Nash’s operatives, he’d have trained him better than that.  Hell.  If he’d been one of Nash’s undercover operatives, he’d probably still be dead.  Just like the other imbedded agents whose covers had been blown.
            Glancing over at the still figure crumpled on the floor between storage racks, Nash’s gut twisted with anger and remorse.  “Damn it, Tommy.  Told you I didn’t need backup,” he muttered.  All he’d asked for was cash and a new i.d. to be sent to a P.O. box.  He hadn’t needed a personal delivery.  He hadn’t wanted the kid to come all the way to K.C.  “You should have stayed at the office.”
            “You can’t risk hiding out for more than forty-eight hours, boss.  And you said you can’t trust anyone in the field.  You need someone who isn’t part of the Graciela-Vargas turf war to do this for you.”  Nash could imagine Agent Delvecchio rising to attention beside his computer, eager to get on the next flight to KCI and prove himself.  “I’m not a field agent.  They don’t know me.  I can help.”
            Smart kid.  Good logic.  Still dead.  Just like Torres and Richter were back in Harlingen and Houston.  Nash’s team was another man down, he had no i.d. on the traitor who’d marked them as cops, and he was on his own in this nightmare.
            Pushing aside the distracting emotions that could get him killed, too, Nash quickly evaluated his options.  The stinging smell of sulfur in the air told him the three shooters--down to two now--had used up a lot of their bullets coming after him and Delvecchio.  But that didn’t give him the advantage it should have.
            He kicked out the magazine from his Smith & Wesson and checked his own ammo supply before reloading the clip.  Three bullets left.  The rest of the ammunition, backup weaponry and supplies he needed were in the go bag lying on the floor beside Delvecchio.  The only chance of a getaway was his truck, parked a good thirty yards from his position.  And as far as he could tell, there were still two of Berto Graciela’s thugs in the warehouse with him.
            Unless these were Santiago Vargas’s men.  Vargas had been loyal to Berto’s older brother, Diego.  Ever since Diego’s death two years earlier, the two had been vying for power within the organization.  What did a few cops mean to either of them?  Just collateral damage in a war to control a drug trafficking pipeline that funneled cocaine, pot and an assortment of designer concoctions from Isla Tenebrosa into Mexico and across the border--or straight into the U.S. at import traffic hubs like Houston, K.C. and Chicago.
            But Nash’s team had been making progress.  They’d fed the DEA precious intel, helping the agency shut down some key distribution centers.  Now, Nash and his men were dying.
            How did they find him here in Kansas City?  Who had found him?  He was over ten hours away from his last encounter with Graciela’s men in Houston.  Had they followed the kid?  If so, how had they connected computer geek Thomas Delvecchio to him?  Was there a hidden tracking device on his Ford 250 he’d missed?  Unlikely.  He’d gone over the thing with a fine-tooth comb at a truck stop in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the last time he’d checked in with his captain in the Houston office and made the arrangements with Delvecchio.
            There had to be a leak somewhere in the system.  One of the DEA’s confidential informants wasn’t keeping things so confidential.  Torres or Richter had let something slip in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Or worst case scenario?  One of Graciela’s or Vargas’s men had infiltrated the Houston office and Nash’s men were at the mercy of a double agent.
            That had to be the answer.  A team didn’t lose three agents in a week unless someone was leaking inside information.
            “You’re outnumbered, Seńor Nash!” one of the thugs taunted, his accent rolling his r’s and making the gibe sound like a joke instead of a promise of death.  “You are the mouse and we are the gatos.  When you come out of your hole, we’ll be waiting to pounce.”
            So at least one man had taken up position near the open garage door.
            Down to one minute before they closed in.  Two, if he was lucky.
            Time to stop speculating about who had betrayed him and deal with the threat at hand.  Nash craned his neck to peer through a stack of sports car bumpers to gauge the distance and amount of open ground he’d have to cover before reaching his truck.
            On a good day, he could do it in a matter of seconds.  But this was far from a good day.  And he didn’t have a location on the second shooter.
            Time to go old school.
            After slipping off the black felt Stetson that the years had shaped so perfectly to his head, he kissed the crown and set it on the shelf beside him, nudging it into clear view near the end of the row.  Then he pushed to his feet and pulled down the stack of bumpers, creating a noisy diversion while he ducked into the next aisle and ran for his truck.
            Boom.  His hat flew off the shelf, giving him a twenty on Thug Three.  The angle of that last shot told Nash the man was running parallel through the stacks with him.
            Well, running was a relative term.  Thug Three was a big, overweight man who moved with the grace of a lumbering buffalo, while Nash was hobbled by the wound on his leg.
            But Nash was still faster.
            Sorry, kid.  I owe you one.  He scooped up the heavy nylon go bag from the floor beside Delvecchio and limped toward the open garage area with a galloping gait.  Twenty yards.  Fifteen.  He could feel the blood running down his leg and filling his left boot.  Thank God the shot hadn’t taken out his knee or ankle.
            Ten yards.
            The damp wind and flakes of blowing snow pelted his face as he broke into the open garage area.
            Ah, hell.
            Thug Two stepped out from behind a rolling tool box and shot at him.  Either the guy had piss poor aim or Nash was lurching on his gimpy leg more than he thought.  One bullet smacked into the side of the truck bed, punching a hole through the black metal.  The second shot went wide and shattered the driver’s side window.
            Nash raised his gun and squeezed the trigger.
            Thug Two didn’t get off a third shot.
            Nash swore when Thug Three stumbled out from shelves near the dead body by the garage door.  Couldn’t a guy catch a break?  Nash swept the broken glass off his seat, tossed the bag into the truck and climbed in behind the wheel.  The big man, silhouetted against the sunny glare of the snow outside, was panting hard.  But he wasn’t relying on perfect aim to stop Nash.  He pulled out a second hand gun and fired both in a smoky barrage of sparks and firepower.
            Nash started the engine and stuck his left hand out the broken window.  Bracing his wrist on the mirror to steady his aim, he pulled the trigger.  With a flurry of Spanish curses, Thug Three dropped one of his weapons and shook his fingers.  Lucky shot.  Nash must have hit the gun and stung his hand.
            But two shots and he was done.  No way could he reach his bag on the floor boards across the truck and reload in time.  Dropping the gun into his lap, Nash shifted the truck into drive.  He’d only irritated Thug Three.  The big man clasped both hands around his remaining weapon and fired.
            Nash stomped on the accelerator.  A bullet smacked the windshield on the passenger side, splintering the glass into a web of cracks.  The wheels spun and skidded until they found traction on the smooth concrete.  A second bullet took out his side mirror.  The truck lurched forward and barreled toward the exit.  A third bullet found the open window and ripped through his left shoulder, spinning downward through the muscle, oblivious to the protective vest he wore.
            The explosion of pain in his shoulder and back was instant and intense.  Damn lucky shot robbed him of breath and jerked his grip on the wheel, sending the truck into a sideways skid.  Squeezing his elbow to his side, Nash collapsed into the steering wheel, hugging his right arm around it--regaining control of the truck and making his broad shoulders a smaller target.  He was close enough to see the yellowed teeth of Thug Three’s smile as the man steadied the gun and took aim at Nash’s head.
            But what good-ol’ Texas boy didn’t know how to play chicken?
            “For Tommy,” Nash wheezed, stomping on the accelerator.  Before Thug Three could pull off the kill shot or dive out of the way, Nash plowed into him.
            With a sickening double jolt, the truck bounced over the body and burst into the sunshine of the clear December afternoon.  Nash skidded into a sharp turn and raced away from the warehouse, clipping a couple of junker cars and jumping the curb out of the back alley and pulling onto the street.
            “Brilliant plan, Nash,” he muttered through gritted teeth, as he slowed to merge with a line of cars.  His entire left side was on fire and the pain doubled every time he tried to catch a deep breath.  No way to tell yet if the bullet had gone through and lodged in the back of his vest or had even clipped a lung and was bouncing around inside him.  But he knew from the lightheaded haze he kept having to shake off that he was losing a lot of blood.  Delvecchio was dead and, like him, any hope that Nash had escaped to Kansas City undetected had literally been shot to hell.  He was no closer to finding out the identity of the traitor who had exposed his men as undercover cops and marked them, and now him, for death.

Question:  What color is Nash’s hat?

 

 

 

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FREE BONUS READ
 
 
TACTICAL ADVANTAGE
(Excerpt)
By
Julie Miller
©2013
 
 

 

 
 

Epilogue

 
 
1 1/2 months later
 
            “Reitzie.”  Annie lifted the lazy Siamese from the domino tumble of picture frames on the mantel where he was lounging while Nick carried up their overnight bags from their weekend getaway to St. Louis.  She set the cat on the floor and shooed him off to find where his counterpart, G.B., was hiding.
            In between unbuttoning her coat and untying the pink scarf that Grandma Connie had knit for her, she straightened one beloved picture after another.  When she reached the mutilated photo from the Baseball Hall of Fame, she smiled.  Without feeling one pang of regret, she opened up her paisley messenger bag and pulled out one of the souvenir post cards she’d bought on their trip and quickly swapped out the old picture for the new one.  She crumpled the memory of her ex-fiancé in her fist and tossed it into the trash.
            “There.”  Annie was admiring the new picture of Busch Stadium in St. Louis, and the new memory it represented, when Nick came in.  He locked the door behind him and hung up their coats.  She pulled the new picture on the mantel to a more prominent position.  “That’s better.”
            Nick came up behind her to wind an arm around her waist and doff a salute to the statue of Stan ‘the Man’ Musial.  “Much better.  Maybe Stan and your dad are up in heaven playing some catch right now.”
            Feeling a pang of melancholy, Annie leaned back against his solid warmth, and found even more comfort when he slipped the other arm around her as well, and pressed a kiss against her cheek.  The sadness quickly passed and she folded her hands over his, soaking in all the miraculous changes in her life since that fateful New Year’s Eve.
            She had a reason to celebrate the holidays now.
            She had a family--one that was bigger, crazier, more accepting and loving than any she could have imagined for herself.
            She wasn’t alone anymore.
            She had Nick.
            On New Year’s Day, Nick Fensom had promised her seventy-two hours of personal protection and free chauffeur’s service.  Now, he’d promised her a lifetime together.
            Annie held up her left hand and marveled at the beauty and symbolism of the simple diamond solitaire he’d given her on Valentine’s Day.
            He cupped her outstretch hand in his, angling it to catch the light in each facet.  “Happy?”
            She nodded.  “More than I have been in...”  She laced her fingers with his and pulled his arm back to complete the snug warmth of the embrace.  “...I don’t know how long.  You gave me a family, Nick.  You make me feel like I belong somewhere, like I belong to someone, like I’m never going to feel alone again. 
            “Yeah, but do you love me?”
            “Of course, I do.”
            “Well, a guy wonders, you know, because, um... technically, you never said yes.”
            Annie spun around in his arms, mortified.  “I didn’t?”
            Despite the grin, he was shaking his head as he twirled a lock of her hair between his index finger and thumb.  “As I recall, you burst into tears, blubbered some stuff about how happy your dad would be that I asked you to marry me in front of Musial’s statue, and then you started kissing me.”  Annie arched a skeptical brow as his handsome blue eyes met hers and the Irish bluster continued.  “Now, while I’m not opposed to that sort of activity, sometimes you’re hard to read--and it can be a little tricky on a man’s ego not to be entirely sure.”
            Annie caught his face between her hands.  “Do you really have any doubts about how much I love you?  What was it you once told me?  You’ll know when I make a promise to you.”
            “Pretty pithy stuff, huh?”
            She pulled his face closer to hers and stroked her thumb across his mouth.  “Then let me make this promise to you, Nicholas Fensom--I love you.  I need you in my life.  I want to be your wife.”  She stretched up to press a kiss to his lips before standing back to raise her right hand and lay her left over his heart.  “In front of Mom, Dad, Stan and the cats... my answer is yes.”
            Nick’s grin was devilish as he wound his arms around her and pulled her hips up against his.  “I liked all the kissing better.”
            “You...”  She smacked his shoulder, taking care to avoid the newly healed wound that could have killed him when he saved her life.  The crime lab building was under repair as well, and both the detective and the lab were back at work.  “You’re terrib--”
            With a laugh, Nick’s mouth covered hers, ending the teasing, demanding that she prove with her heart and body what her words had already confessed.  And Annie willingly accepted the challenge.  Nick slid his deliciously warm hands beneath her sweater and dipped his tongue into her mouth.  Annie’s fingers went to the hem of Nick’s shirt, untucking it from his jeans, taking the same liberties to stroke and touch and grab that he took with her.
            His thighs crowded against her, driving her back into the arm of the sofa.  Annie wrapped her arms around his neck and turned, steering him around the couch.  He pulled her along with him a couple of steps, drawing his tongue along that sensitive bundle of nerves beneath her ear.  “I love the way your mind thinks.”
            “I love the way your--”  He gently nipped the spot and Annie gasped, shuddering with desire.
            She tugged on his belt buckle as Nick’s seductive assault backed her into the wall.  His hands were under her sweater again, making it difficult to recall the rest of her sentence.  But the power of his kiss, the need of his hands, the hardness of his body made her realize that words were no longer necessary.  The tension that had simmered between them from their very first meeting blazed into white-hot passion.  They were yin and yang.  Opposites attracting and completing each other.  Perfectly in sync.  Perfect together.
            Nick pulled her away from the wall to sweep the sweater off over her head, exposing her torso to the chilly air of her apartment.  But he palmed her bottom and lifted her up against him, singeing her body with the solid heat of his.  Annie wrapped her legs around his hips as he reclaimed her mouth and stumbled to the bedroom.  There, in a flurry of dropping clothes and stolen kisses, they fell onto the bed together.
            There was no more teasing, no more debate, no more doubt about the unexpected love they’d found together.  Nick sheathed himself and settled between her legs as Annie impatiently drew him down on top of her.  There was nothing wounded about his compact, beautifully toned body beyond the scar on his shoulder.  He was fit and fine and sexier than than the box score of a perfect game as he began to move inside her.
            His fingers tangled into her hair as he thrust himself in to the hilt and whispered against her ear.  “I love you, Annie.  I love you.”
            Believing that promise with all her heart, she let go and flew over the edge into pure bliss with him.
                                                                        #
            The cats had joined them in bed, anchoring the quilt around Annie’s toasty feet, when stereo pagers went off sometime later.  She startled awake, pushing aside cats and covers to reach for her phone on the bedside table while Nick rolled to sit up on his side to retrieve his phone from his jeans on the floor.
            “It’s work.”  They announced in unison.
            “I’ll call in.”  Nick pulled on his shorts and jeans and tossed her the pants she’d worn earlier.  “You get some clothes on before you distract me again.”
            As alert and worried as she’d been replete and content moments earlier, she quickly dressed.  A call from Dispatch before the sun was up could never be a good thing.  The grim look on Nick’s face echoed as much as he called his partner’s number.
            “Spence?  It’s Nick.”  Annie tiptoed around the bed and Nick circled his arm around her, drawing her close.  “Yeah, we’re both here.”
            Annie caught most of the conversation with the task force commander, and was glad she’d packed her spare kit in the back of Nick’s Jeep.  The men the Cleaner had blackmailed into killing Annie and destroying evidence were either dead or jailed.  The only one who’d survived the assault on the crime lab had been unable to give them a usable description of the woman who’d recruited him because all the arrangements, from impersonating police officers to infiltrating the lab, had gone through Raj Kapoor.  But, thanks to her and Nick, they had a trace sample to identify the rapist’s blood type, and a fingerprint they could match to the Cleaner--once they got the right suspect in custody.  It was evidence that could help put them both away in prison for a very, very long time.
            But the grim report from Spencer Montgomery reminded them both that there was more work to be done.  Nick ended the call and pressed a kiss to Annie’s temple.
            “Time to go to work, slugger.”  He strapped on his gun and his badge.  “The Rose Red Rapist has struck again.  We’ve got another crime scene.”

 


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