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with USA TODAY Bestselling Author 

Julie Miller!


 November Book Giveaway!
Entry Deadline November 24th


Congratulations to Elizabeth Neal of Ohio! She won my October Book GiveAway Contest, and will receive a preview copy of my November 17th release, KANSAS CITY CONFESSIONS. Like many of you, she knew that the play in the book was Charles Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL.

This month, you can enrich your reading experience! I’m giving away a copy of my backlist title SEARCH AND SEIZURE in conjunction with my brand new release, KANSAS CITY CONFESSIONS. Why? Because the grown up hero/ine in KANSAS CITY CONFESSIONS were teenaged supporting characters in SEARCH AND SEIZURE. I have only one print copy to give away, but if you specify you read digital books in your entry, I’d be happy to award a digital copy to a second winner.

To enter,
read the excerpt from KANSAS CITY CONFESSIONS, the exciting conclusion to my Precinct: Cold Case trilogy. This one is also a holiday story, folks, so if an unexpected family coming together at Christmas (while some devious villains are trying to prevent that happily ever after!) is your thing, please check out KANSAS CITY CONFESSIONS. Answer the easy question at the end of the excerpt and email me your answer, along with your contact information. My dog, Maggie, will put her nose to work and select a winner from among all the correct entries. Deadline to enter is November 24th.

Search & Seizure by Julie Miller







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 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.


Nov. 14 - 15

April 2016

RT Book Lovers Convention--Las Vegas


Julie in New York City at the 2015 RWA National Conference

Julie Miller RITA Finalist

Julie Miller at 2015 RWA Literacy Signing


Intrigue Authors Julie Miller and Delores Fossen at Harlequin Party, NYC 2015

The awesome sign made by Julie's roommates at the RWA 2015 Conference in NYC. Yes, I'm a RITA finalist!

Julie at the RWA Literacy Booksigning


Julie with fellow USA TODAY Bestselling Author Delores Fossen at the Harlequin VIP Party.

Author Julie Miller at Broadway production of WICKED

Author Julie Miller RITA Finalist

Author Julie Miller ready for 2015 RWA RITA Awards

Julie at the Broadway production of WICKED

Yes, I'm a RITA finalist!

Julie ready to attend the RITA Awards Ceremony




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




Copyright ©2015 by Julie Miller

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




Trent was a man on a mission when he stepped into his boss’s office at the Fourth Precinct building. Lieutenant Ginny Rafferty-Taylor was out somewhere, but he’d spotted Katie going in earlier, and wanted a few minutes of face-to-face time with her before the morning staff meeting started.

Instead of asking a pointed question about last night’s phone call, however, he paused, unobserved, in the doorway as she dropped to the floor.

“Where did I put that stupid pencil?”

He did a poor job of keeping his eyes off the bobbing heart-shaped curves of Katie Rinaldi’s backside as she crawled beneath the conference table in search of the accursed writing instrument. Thank goodness Lieutenant Rafferty-Taylor was nowhere to be seen, because he was failing miserably at professional detachment. He stood there like a man, not a cop, admiring the view, savoring the stronger beat of his pulse until Katie’s navy blue slacks and the mismatched socks on her feet disappeared between two chairs.

With temptation out of sight, Trent’s brain reengaged and he swallowed a drink of his coffee. The hot liquid burned a little more common sense down his throat, reminding him that he was at work, the fellow members of KCPD’s cold case squad were gathering in the main room outside with their morning coffee and case files, and Katie had made it clear that—no matter how she twisted up his insides with this gut kick of desire—she only wanted to be friends.

“I love you, Trent. I always will. But I’m not in love with you.”

Man, had that been a painful distinction to make.

He’d felt an undeniable pull to this woman since he was fifteen years old and she’d moved in with her aunt across the street from the home where he’d grown up. Although he’d been a jock and she’d been into the arts, proximity and a whole yin and yang thing of opposites attracting had played hell with his teenaged libido. When she’d gotten pregnant their senior year, his idealistic notions about the dark-haired beauty had dimmed. But when she disappeared, and he’d played a small role in helping her get safely home, an indelible bond had been forged between them, deeper than anything raging teenage hormones could account for.

After her return, she’d talked him into singing in a musical play with her and he’d discovered he liked driving her back and forth to rehearsals and hanging out with her. They’d dated a few times their senior year of high school. Well, he’d been dating, hoping for something more, but Katie had always pulled back just when things were getting interesting.

She didn’t mean to be a tease, and had always been straight with him about her feelings and concerns. It just wasn’t easy for her to trust. He understood that now better than he had ten years ago. She’d grown up with an abusive father, witnessed her mother’s own murder at his hand. She’d survived a kidnapping, but lost the good friend she’d been trying to help when she’d gotten involved with the kidnappers in the first place. She’d had an infant son before graduation and had to learn about being a mother.

Katie had every right to be cautious, every right to insist on standing on her own two feet, every right to protect herself and her son from getting attached to someone who’d thought he was going to make a career for himself in another city. She wouldn’t risk the stability she provided for Tyler. She wouldn’t risk either her or her son possibly getting hurt. He’d admired her for her stubborn strength back then. Still did. Understanding why she wouldn’t give them a chance, Trent had accepted the dutiful role of friend and gone off to play football in college and take his life and dreams in a different direction. Some dreams died or morphed into other goals. He’d come back to Kansas City, come home to be a cop.

He might be a different man than the teen he’d once been. But the rules with Katie hadn’t changed. One wiggle of that perfectly shaped posterior, one flare of concern that all was not right in her world, shouldn’t make him forget that.

Besides, a man had his pride. Yeah, being built to play the defensive line made him a little scary sometimes. But he wasn’t completely unfortunate in the looks department. He had a college degree and a respectable job, and his parents had taught him how to treat a lady right. He didn’t have to pine away for any woman. He dated. Okay, so a lot of those dates—like Erin Ballard last night—had been set up by Katie herself, but he could get his own woman when he had to. He’d even been in a couple of long-term relationships. It wasn’t as if he was a saint—he enjoyed a woman’s company.

Trent drank another, more leisurely sip of coffee, cooling his jets while he remembered his purpose here. He anchored his feet to the carpet, bracing himself. From the grumbling sounds beneath the table, Katie was on a tear about something this morning. A civilized conversation might not be possible. But he’d gotten information from less cooperative witnesses in an interrogation room. He just had to stay calm and make it happen.

A chair rolled across the utility carpet as she popped out on the other side of the table. “You and I need to talk,” Trent stated simply.

Her head swiveled around and her blue eyes widened with a startled look, then quickly shuttered. She knew he was talking about last night. But she blithely ignored the issue between them. “I have to find that pencil first.” It was hard to feel much resentment when her bangs flew out in a dozen adorable directions after she raked her fingers through the dark brown waves and stood. “It’s the second one I’ve lost today. I don’t have time for this. I’m making my presentation to you guys this morning and—”

Trent tapped the back of his neck, indicating the bouncy ponytail where an orange mechanical pencil had been speared through her hair.

She buzzed her lips in a frustrated sigh and pulled the pencil from her hair. “Thanks.”

He stepped into the room to keep their conversation private from their friends gathering outside the office. “You called me—”

“Trent, please.” Katie gestured to their team leader’s empty desk. “I have to get everything ready for the meeting before the lieutenant gets back.”

Fine. He’d ease into the questions he had for her. As long as he could get her talking to him. Trent glanced over at the empty desk where the cold case squad’s team leader usually sat. “Where is she?”

“The lieutenant got called into Chief Taylor’s office for an emergency meeting. She said she’d be back in time for the team briefing.”

“Emergency?” That word and news of an impromptu meeting with the lieutenant's cousin-in-law, aka the department's top brass, wasn’t something a cop wanted to hear at the beginning of his shift. He eyed the other members of the team through the glass window separating Lieutenant Rafferty-Taylor’s office from the maze of detectives’ desks on the building’s third floor. Max Krolikowski, his partner, along with Jim Parker and Olivia Watson, stood together chatting, apparently as unaware as he as to what the emergency summons might be. Katie’s frenetic movements weren’t exactly reassuring. “Any idea what’s up?”

“Not a clue.” She unplugged a cord, inserted a zip drive and pulled up a file on her laptop. When she looked up at the dark television screen at the opposite end of the conference table, she groaned and circled around the table to fiddle with the TV. “It’s not my job to keep track of every bit of gossip that comes through the KCPD grapevine. The lieutenant was heading out when I came in. She told me to go ahead and set up for the staff meeting. So, of course, the wireless connection is on the fritz, and I had to track down extra cords. Then I realized I left one of the files in my bag and hadn’t uploaded the pictures yet, so I had to go back for that. And now the stupid TV—”

“Take a breath, Katie.”

You take a breath,” she snapped, spinning to face him.

“Really? That’s your witty repartee?”

“I mean…” Her eyes widened like cornflowers blooming when her gaze locked on to his.

Accepting the remorse twisting her pretty mouth as an apology, Trent crossed the room to inspect the closed-circuit television. He tightened a connector on the side of the TV and turned the screen on for her. “There. Easy fix.”

“Thanks.” She bent over her laptop, resuming her work at a more normal pace. “I’m sorry. That was a dumb thing to say. I was going on like a chatterbox, wasn’t I?”

“There’s something buggin’ you, I can tell. But it’s just me, so don’t sweat it.”

“I’m not going to take advantage of your cool, calm collectedness. You didn’t come to work so you could listen to me vent.”

“But I do want to hear about last night.”

She arched a sable-colored brow in irritation. Okay. Too soon to press the subject. Just keep her talking and eventually he’d get the answers he needed.

Trent reached around her to set his coffee and notebook in front of the chair catty-corner from hers. Although Katie was of an average height and curvy build, she’d always seemed petite and fragile. It didn’t help that she’d kicked off her shoes beneath the table while he’d tied on a pair of thick-soled work boots this morning to shovel his sidewalks, blow the snow off his driveway and walk the dog he’d taken in around the block. Despite her uncharacteristic flashes of frustration and temper, and the static electricity that made the strands of her ponytail cling to the black flannel of his shirt, she seemed pretty and dainty and far too female for the cells in his body not to leap to attention whenever he got this close to her.

“You seem a little off your game this morning.” He spoke over the top of her head, backing away from the enticement of making contact with more than a few wayward strands of hair. “You know something about the lieutenant’s emergency meeting that you’re not telling me?”

“Nope. She was business as usual.”

“Is Tyler okay?”

“He’s fine. I swear.” Katie tilted her gaze up to meet his, confirming with a quick smile that that much, at least, was true. Then she went back to work on her laptop. She swiped her finger across a graphic on her screen and loaded the image of several mug shots up onto the larger screen. “I guess he’s a little ticked at me. There’s this stray dog that he’s gotten attached to running around the theater this past week. He wants a dog so badly, it’s at the top of his Christmas list. But our landlord won’t allow pets. I mean, the dog is friendly enough, but he’s skin and bones. I feel so bad for him, especially in this weather. Apparently, Tyler’s been feeding him.”

“A tan dog with a white stripe around his neck?”

“Yes. How did you…?” Her cheeks heated with color as she tilted her face up to his. “You went to the theater last night. I told you everything was fine.”

Trent propped his hands at his waist, dipping his head toward hers. He matched her indignant tone. “No, you told me you’d handle whatever it was. If everything is fine, you wouldn’t need to handle anything.”

“Well, I don’t need you to rescue me every time something scares me.”

“What scared you?”

She paused for a moment before waving off his concern and turned back to her computer. “That’s not what I meant.”

“Then give me some straight answers. Something hinky was going on outside that theater. Either you saw something, or you at least suspected it.” He wrapped his fingers around the pink wool sleeve of her sweater and softened his tone. “Something that scared you, and that’s why you called me.”

She hesitated for a moment before shrugging off his touch. “You were on a date.”

“The date was over.”

“Because of me?” She turned in the tight space between the table and chair, her forehead scrunched up with remorse.

He tapped the furrow between her brows and urged her to relax. “Because I wanted it to be.”

She batted his hand away, dismissing his concern. “Trent, I don’t have the right to call you whenever I need something. I’m not going to wimp out on being a strong woman and I don’t want to take advantage of our friendship. We shouldn’t have that you’re-the-guy-I-always-call-on kind of relationship, anyway. You need to…find someone and move on with your life.”

“I’ll make my own decisions, thank you. I call you when I need something, don’t I?”

“Sewing a button on your dress uniform is hardly the same thing.”

“Look, you and I know more about each other than just about anybody else. We’ve shared secrets and heartaches and stupid stuff, too. That’s what people who care about each other do. Now—as a friend who doesn’t appreciate phone calls that make him think something bad has happened and he needs to drop everything without even taking a shower and speed across town in a snowstorm—”

“You didn’t—”

“—I need you to tell me exactly why you called last night. And don’t tell me you were frightened of that sweet little dog, who, incidentally, is spending the day at the vet’s office while the Humane Society is checking to see if he’s been reported missing.”

Her eyes widened again. “You rescued the dog?”

“You wouldn’t let me rescue you. Now answer the question. What scared you last night?”

“Nothing but my imagination. I’m sorry I worried you. The dog’s okay?”

She changed topics like a hard right turn in a high-speed chase.

Trent shrugged. This woman always kept him on his toes. “I fed him some scrambled eggs and gave him water. He spent the night whimpering on a blanket in my mudroom, but he didn’t have any accidents. Don’t know if he’s housebroken or just too scared he’ll get into trouble and get dumped out someplace again. I took him to the vet’s this morning for a thorough checkup and a much-needed grooming. My truck still smells like wet stinky dog.”

“Thank you.” Her lips softened into a beautiful smile. When she reached out to squeeze his hand, he squeezed right back. “Thank you for saving him. I wanted to, but I’m not sure Tyler would understand having to take him to a shelter instead of taking him home.”

“It looks like I’ll be fostering Mr. Pup for a while. Until the Humane Society can find out if there’s an owner or put him up for adoption. Maybe Tyler can come visit him.”

Katie shook her head, whipping the ponytail back and forth. “Don’t tell him that. He’d be at your house every day after school.”

“You know I don’t mind having Tyler around.”

“I know. But…Mr. Pup? Tyler calls him Padre.”

Trent nodded. The name fit. “Like a priest’s collar. That’s what I’ll call him, then. Now about last night…” He could do the sharp right turns, too. But her frustrated huff warned him he’d have to coax the answers out of her, just like he’d coaxed Padre into trusting him. “You have to give me something, Katie. You know I won’t quit.”

“I know.” Her blue eyes tilted up to meet his, briefly. Her gaze quickly dropped to the middle button of his shirt, where she plucked away what was most likely a couple of dog hairs. The nerves beneath his skin jumped as her fingers danced against his chest. But he couldn’t allow himself to respond to the unintended caress. This was distraction. Nervous energy. Something on her mind that kept her from focusing. There was definitely something bothering Team Rinaldi this morning. “I have to get ready for the meeting.”

“Every morning, you’ve been bragging about Tyler and the play you guys are doing. This morning, all you’re doing is apologizing and fussing around like it’s your first day on the job.” Outweighing her by a good hundred pounds wasn’t the only reason he wasn’t budging. He covered her hand with his, stilling her fidgeting fingers. “Talk to me. Use words that make sense.”

“Calling you was an impulse,” she conceded. “Once I got my act together, I realized I shouldn’t have bothered you.”

Nope. He still wasn’t budging.

Trent felt the whisper of her surrendering sigh against his hand. “They didn’t need me backstage last night, so I was doing some work on my laptop out in the theater auditorium. I found a connection between an old double missing person case and some new stuff we’re working on. I got caught up following the trail through the reports and I lost track of the time.”

This was remorse talking, maybe even a little fear, he thought, as she slowly tilted her gaze to his again. “I couldn’t find Tyler when I was done. I mean, eventually I did. He was by himself in the parking lot, waiting for me. Everyone else had left and he was locked out of the building. And then I thought I heard… I swear someone was…”

“Someone was what?” He gently combed his fingers through her scattered bangs, smoothing them back into place.

“I thought someone was watching me. The lights went out, so it was pretty dark, and while I was looking for Tyler in the dressing rooms, some guy pushed me down and ran outside.”

Trent’s fingers stilled. His grip on her hand against his chest tightened. “A man attacked you? Are you hurt?”

She brought her other hand up to pat his, urging him to calm the blood boiling in his veins. “This is why I don’t tell you things. It wasn’t an attack. The dark always freaks me out a little bit, and my imagination made things seem worse than they were. Once I found Tyler with Padre, everything was fine.”

“You don’t know what that guy was after.”

“He wasn’t after me. Maybe I interrupted a break-in. Or some homeless guy snuck in to get out of the cold and he got scared by the blackout, too. He just wanted me out of his way so he could escape. Doug Price is going to give me grief tonight for not picking up the mess I left in the dressing room, but I wasn’t hurt. I was more worried about Tyler.”

He didn’t care about whoever Doug Price was, but if he gave Katie grief about anything, he’d flatten him. “Did you report it?” She hadn’t. “Katie—” His frustration ebbed on a single breath as understanding dawned. “You called me.”

Hell. He should have investigated inside the building instead of letting the dog distract him from his purpose. He should have gone straight to Katie’s apartment when he didn’t find her and Tyler at the theater, even if it was the middle of the night and he woke them out of a sound sleep. “I’m sorry. If I’d known what kind of danger you were in—”

“It wouldn’t have done any good. By the time I found Tyler and went back to take a couple of pictures, anything suspicious I’d seen was gone.” Katie quickly extricated her hands from his and nudged him out of her way. “I wasn’t in any real danger. I was being a lousy mom last night. Guilt and reading that file about the missing teen and her baby made me imagine it was something more.” She picked up a stack of briefing folders and distributed them in front of each chair around the table. “Except for that message.”

Oh, he had a bad feeling about this. “What message?”

She tried to shrug off whatever had drained the color from her face. “Some prankster wrote something creepy in the snow behind the theater.”

“And then he swept it away.”

Katie spun to face him. “Yes. But how did you…? Right. You were there. And you don’t quit.”

He propped his hands at his waist. “What did the message say? Something about breaking into the theater?”

She hugged the last folder to her chest. “I don’t know if it was even intended for me.”

“What did it say?” he repeated, as patiently as he’d talked to Padre.

“Stop or someone will get hurt.”

He dug his fingers into the pockets of his jeans, the only outward sign of the protective anger surging through him. “Stop what? Who’ll get hurt?”

Her shoulders lifted with silent confusion. She didn’t have those answers. “Maybe he thought I was chasing him. I wasn’t. The darkness freaked me out and kept me from thinking straight, and all I wanted to do was find Tyler to make sure he was safe. If I hadn’t panicked, I’d have handled things better, and I wouldn’t have ruined your evening.”

Trent plucked the folder from her grasp and set it on the table. “You lost track of your son. That’s supposed to frighten a parent. Don’t beat yourself up about it. You said he’s okay, right?”

She nodded. “We’re both fine. Thanks for worrying.”

“Thank you for sharing. Now maybe I won’t worry so much.”

She moved back to her computer and manipulated the pictures again. “I’ll believe that when I see it.”

They did know each other well. “Honey, you know I’m always going to worry—”

“You shouldn’t call me honey.” Katie glanced toward the window to the main room. “The rest of the team is here. I need to finish setting up.”


Question: What did the threatening message in the snow say?




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