CONTESTS & FUN
USA TODAY Bestselling Author
December Book GiveAway!
Deadline to enter December 24th.
Rachelle Hills of Indiana! She won my November Book GiveAway, and out of
all 50 of my books, Rachelle asked for a print copy of my very second
Harlequin Intrigue, SUDDEN ENGAGEMENT. It was a treat to see which of my
books over the years everyone was interested in reading. Thank you so
much for all the congratulatory messages and your enthusiastic response!
Like many of you, She knew that the hero of YULETIDE PROTECTOR, Spencer
Montgomery, had granite/gray eyes. Thanks to everyone who entered!
In keeping with the holidays, I'm continuing the celebration of my 50th
book being released this month. I'll give away a copy of any one of
those 50 books, winner's choice! That's any title leading up to and
including my new release, YULETIDE PROTECTOR. Print or ebook (if
available), winner's choice. You have 50 choices, so think carefully.
Please specify title, and print or ebook when you enter. To enter,
read the new excerpt from YULETIDE
PROTECTOR, answer an easy question, and
your answer, title, format preference and location. Deadline to enter is
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
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.
Jan. 10 - 12th
||Romance Authors of
the Heartland Conference, Omaha, NE
Julie in Atlanta, GA at the 2013 RWA National
Julie with good buddy B.J. Daniels
Delores Fossen, Julie Miller, B.J. Daniels
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,
||Prairieland Romance Writers celebrates 20
years of excellence in romance fiction!
Kearney, NE Booksigning, The Sequel Bookshop
Julie Miller, and Scott & Julie Miller
L-R Saranna DeWylde, Julie Miller, Janette Kenney,
Sherri Shackelford, Cheryl St. John
New York City at the 2011 RWA National Conference
View of Times Square from
Julie's hotel room
Julie at the Transformers movie
premiere (Hi, Bumblebee!)
Times Square and Broadway
My roomie, Elle James, Brenda
Jackson, and my agent Pattie Steele-Perkins at the RWA booksigning
The massive Literacy
Autographing at RWA
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.
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.
Bailey left the
workout mat and boxing bag and walked away from Spencer Montgomery
feeling all kinds of hot and bothered. He’d seemed so solid,
unflappable, patient--that it had felt natural opening up to him and
sharing what she was really thinking. And then his eyes had
darkened and grown distant and pain had radiated off him in waves.
She’d been as drawn to that surprising revelation of humanity as
she’d been to the hard warmth of his chest.
But the moment
she’d dared to act on the personal connection humming between them,
he’d shut her down and pushed her away. Bailey had run a gamut of
emotions from surprise to wounded fury, from self-doubt to
invigorating confidence, from caution to concern, from suspicion to
that inevitable awareness she felt whenever the stoic detective
turned those steel gray eyes on her.
The tepid shower
beating down on her skin helped cool the embarrassment of mistakenly
thinking he cared about her on some personal level. Although the
raw memory she’d read in his shadowed eyes and taut voice indicated
that they at least shared a familiarity with personal tragedy. The
hurt she’d felt at his abrupt dismissal of her concern for him eased
with the reviving scent of the citrus shampoo she massaged through
her hair. And by the time she was stepping out of the locker room
shower and wrapping a fluffy white towel around her body, she was
breathing normally again.
Montgomery had come here as a courtesy in response to her frantic
phone call. His concern for her safety might only be professional,
but it was genuine. And she couldn’t fault the man for wanting to
keep their relationship strictly business when he’d just spent more
time listening to her troubles and offering a constructive way to
deal with her emotions than her fawning ex-fiancé or her drama queen
of a mother had.
After sliding into
her flip-flops, Bailey cinched the towel together over her breasts
and hurried back to her locker. The first thing on her agenda was
to apologize for wigging out on the red-haired detective. The
second thing was to answer whatever questions he needed her to.
Bailey set her
shower caddy down on the bench beside her workout clothes and
twisted the combination to open up the locker’s metal door. With a
quick glance at the mirror inside, she finger-combed her short hair
into place, then reached for the bag of clean clothes she stored on
the bottom shelf.
Her fingers froze
before touching the quilted strap. She curled them into a fist she
drew back to her stomach as she tried to make sense of the three
photos resting on top of her bag. The black and white prints were
small enough to be stuffed through the air vents of the locked door,
she thought obliquely, studying the images scattered over her
Images of her.
Brushing snow off the windshield of her car. Staring daggers up at
the window of the CEO who’d interviewed her. Clinging to the
steering wheel of her Lexus, looking afraid.
These pictures had
been taken just a couple of hours ago.
That man had
And he wasn’t any
Her face had been
crossed out in two of the photos. And on the third, scrawled in
thick ink across the black and white image, she’d been sent a
message that was frighteningly clear.
family will be sending out funeral notices
instead of Christmas cards if you testify.
inside her towel. Her blood ran as cold as the weather outside.
She wasn’t safe at all. Not in her car. Not here at the gym. Not
Montgomery?” she murmured, waiting for her brain to shove aside that
sense of violation so she could connect the dots. The Cleaner had
found her. The woman protecting the man who’d raped Bailey had
followed her, watched her, touched her things. The Cleaner had been
right here, standing where Bailey now stood. She shuffled away from
the ugly threat. The back of her bare knees hit the bench,
startling her past the fear. She turned and shouted, “Detective?
She heard the
startled yelps and high-pitched protests before she heard the
running footsteps. A woman’s voice reprimanded the locker room
intruder. “You can’t bring that in--”
tall, red-haired detective swung around the end of the row of
lockers. Spencer’s gun was drawn and down at his side, his gray
eyes fixed on her as his long strides carried him straight to her.
“What happened?” he ordered, closing his free hand around her bare
arm and turning her to face him.
Bailey angled her
head toward her locker and he followed her gaze. “I didn’t imagine
“Son of a bitch.”
He loosened his grip and smoothed his hand up and down her arm,
chasing away the chill on her skin. His sharp gaze took in
everything around them before coming back to her. “You’re all
“Say it. I need to
know you’re not in shock.”
again. “I’m okay.”
“Stay put.” In a
rapid efficiency of movement, he released her entirely, ordered the
curious crowd of half-dressed women to vacate the locker room,
pulled a cell phone from his jacket and punched in a number. She
could hear him talking to his partner, interrupting some kind of
family event, while he stalked up and down the rows of lockers,
sinks and showers, making sure no physical threat remained.
Bailey was still
standing there in her towel, shivering from the inside out, when he
finally returned. His gaze zeroed in on hers, reassuring her,
assessing her, as he holstered his weapon and spoke into the phone.
“Yeah, Nick. It had to be within the past two hours. Probably not
even that long. Elliott’s accomplice was here--or someone she hired
or blackmailed, at any rate.”
Spencer held out
his hand as he approached, and for one dumbfounded moment, Bailey
didn’t understand what the gesture meant. But when he folded his
long arm around her and pulled her into his chest, she released her
death grip on the towel and willingly aligned her body to his. She
didn’t mind the scratchy wool of his lapel beneath her cheek, or the
rasp of his sleeve pricking goose bumps across her bare shoulders.
He was warm. He was solid. He was safe.
“Just to secure the
perimeter. I’ve cleared the room and I’ve got eyes on Miss
Austin.” His chin brushed against the crown of her damp hair as he
glanced up. “There are no security cameras in here to monitor
comings and goings, but I’ll get a list of names from the check-in
sheet at the front desk. You get Annie and her CSI team here
pronto.” He leaned back at the waist and Bailey lifted her head to
meet that handsome gray gaze that searched her face. “She’s safe.”
His fingers splayed and settled at the small of her back, keeping
her close when she would have backed away. “Yes, I’m okay with
that,” he grumbled. Then, in a more normal, clipped tone, “Thanks,
After hanging up,
that same hand tugged against her towel, pulling her away as if he’d
just now discovered that he wanted to distance himself from her.
“The task force is en route,” he stated matter-of-factly. “I’ll
stay with you until backup arrives.” He nodded to the goose bumps
dotting her skin, and then shrugged out of his suit jacket. “You’re
Cold and scared.
“It’s her, isn’t it. The Cleaner?” Spencer draped the lined gray
wool around her shoulders, surrounding her in the warmth and starchy
scent that lingered from his body, wrapping her up in a hug that
reminded her of the strength of his body surrounding and shielding
hers. It wasn’t the full body contact they’d just shared, but she’d
take it. At that moment, she needed whatever strength he was
willing to offer to shore up her own. “I wasn’t being paranoid.
She was following me this afternoon.”
“Someone was.” He
clutched the lapels together at the base of her throat, hesitating
for one uncharacteristic moment. “I know they’re not fresh, but,
can you put your workout clothes back on? I want the lab to check
everything in your locker for fingerprints or trace before you
disturb any of it.”
Calmed by both his
consideration and straightforward explanation, Bailey dutifully took
over holding the jacket, allowing him to free his hands and regain
the professional distance he seemed to prefer. “I can do that.”
She picked up her sweaty things off the bench. “And don’t worry. I
still intend to testify.”
“I’m learning that
about you. There’s some backbone to you.” He surprised her by
reaching out to cup the side of her neck and jaw. Tiny muscles
jumped beneath her skin at the gentle contact. “You’re someone
different every time we meet.”
tunneled into the damp tendrils at her nape, and suddenly, she was
plenty warm again. Could it be that Spencer Montgomery wasn’t as
detached from his emotions as he’d like to be? “Is that a good
thing?” she asked.
“I don’t know
yet.” As soon as Bailey turned her cheek into the caress, he pulled
away. Some sort of inner battle he was waging etched a few extra
lines into his face. “But I do know I won’t let her get to you
Then he nodded to
her clothes and the cop was back.
by Julie Miller
Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A.
What did the Cleaner leave in Bailey's locker?
Back To Top
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
“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.
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
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
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
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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