Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Guardian Agent (Agents Under Fire) by Dana Marton

Guardian Agent (Agents Under Fire)
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When Gabe Cannon's commando team is tasked with bringing down a rogue solider, he doesn't expect to come face-to-face with the target's sister at the showdown instead of the man himself.

Jasmine is trying to lead the team away from her injured brother. Recognizing one of the hunters as her teenage crush is definitely a shock to her system. To save her family, she must convince Gabe that her brother was framed. But can she stop from falling in love with him all over again?

A fast-paced, heart-pounding romantic suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat.


Dark waters lapped the century-old palace’s foundation, eager to claim the forgotten building on one of Venice’s backstreet canals. At four on the February morning, tourists still partied on in the distance, drunk on love, youth and full-bodied Italian wine. Gabe Cannon could hear both the water and the faint beat of the music, but he couldn’t hear the half dozen men in the building with him. His new commando team spread out like ghosts moving through the night.

“Target on the roof,” the team leader’s voice whispered in his earpiece.

He stole up the crumbling stairs, ready for the rogue soldier who needed to be brought in before he caused more damage. He’d known Jake Tekla ten years ago in the army--a decent guy back then, but war could change a person, could even twist a man’s mind.

Static hissed in his earpiece, then, “Kill order authorized. Repeat, authorized to shoot on sight.”

His instincts prickled. Standard procedure called for an attempt to capture first, and see what information they could gain during interrogation. Usable intelligence trumped a quick kill, every time. Then again, he worked for a private security firm now: XO-ST. Xtreme Ops Shadow Teams. They did things differently than his previous employers, the army and the FBI.

Gabe reached the roof. Plywood patches formed a psychedelic pattern in the moonlight—an unexpected break. Not having to sneak around on crumbling Mediterranean roof tiles would make this much easier. He stole forward and eased into the cover of a crooked chimney stack.

He caught a silent shadow at the door he’d come through--Troy, one of his teammates, joining him. Odd how Gabe had been last into the building, but first on the roof. Maybe the others had pulled back on purpose, testing the new guy. Another person might have been annoyed, but he’d expected this much. He wasn’t afraid of having to earn his stripes.

Dormers, chimneys and ridges blocked visibility. Clouds kept drifting over the moon. Scan. Move forward.Take cover. A night game of hide and seek in a labyrinth, with a fair chance that the ramshackle roof could open up under his feet any minute.

Then he stole around a dormer and spotted the target at last. Jake Tekla blended into the night in black fatigues, similar to Gabe’s, black ski mask in place. A lot slighter than Gabe remembered. Looked like being on the run had taken its toll on him. The man crept toward the edge of the roof, his focus on the jump he was considering.

No visible weapons.

Yet another thing that didn’t add up. Not for a government-trained, seasoned soldier.

Gabe flicked the safety off his gun. Come on. Turn. He moved another step closer then stopped with his feet apart, gun raised.

His target sensed him at last and spun around.

Oh, hell.

Gabe caught the curve of a breast in the moonlight, and his finger froze on the trigger as he stared at thewoman.

About Dana Marton

Dana Marton writes fast-paced action-adventure romances that take her readers all over the globe. She is a Rita Award finalist and the winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence. She loves writing stories of intrigue, filled with dangerous plots that try her tough-as-nails heroes and the special women they fall in love with. Her books have been published in seven languages in eleven countries around the world.

Interview with Dana Marton

What will readers like about your book?

It's a fast-paced read with plenty of action and romance. I think the hero is the best part. Gabe Cannon is tall, dark and hot. And nice. He just has the most amazing heart. On the outside, he's this tough commando soldier with a dark past, but when things come down to the wire, he always does the right thing. He is the type of man who would put his life at risk for a stranger. If you're ever in real deep trouble (as in mercenaries with a kill order are chasing you accross the rooftops of Europe to take you down), he is the guy you'd want by your side.

Why did you self publish?

With even series romances are now above $5, reading is getting to be an expensive hobby. And often times, major publishers keep their prices as high or higher as print books. As a self-published author, I control the price. I really like it that I'm able to offer a book at $2.99. And I really like the speed of self-publishing as well. When I'm done with a book, readers can be reading it the next day, instead of having to wait a year.

What is your writing process?

Start with a rough idea then plow ahead and hope for the best. If I plotted out every last detail ahead of time, writing the book would be too boring. I don't mind if a book surprises me. I love it. Sometimes my characters will go off in a direction that's completely unexpected and makes the book much better. The only rule I keep with my writing is to be sitting in front of the computer at 8 a.m. and not get up until my daily writing is done.

How long does it take you to write your first draft? 

About a month, for a full-length novel. Then I edit it for two months. In the first draft, I just try to get the story out. The magic happens during the editing. It's amazing what huge effect a few small changes can have on a story. I try to give my readers the best story I can write with every book, so rethinking every plot turn and every single word is very important to me.

What inspired you to write this particular story?

A couple of years ago when my husband was working in Europe, we went to Venice on a trip. I LOVED the city. So many romantic stories have been set there. But since I'm a suspense author, my mind immediately went to rooftop chases and boat escapes on the canals. I thought of a rogue soldier who is framed and must hide out in Europe from the mercenaries who hunt him. What if he was injured and on the brink of death? What if his sister was the only person who believed him and could save him? What if she had to face a whole commando team, only to discover that one of the men was her teenage crush, someone she'd never completely gotten over?

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  1. Looks like another winner Dana! Congrats and I can't wait to read it!

  2. The excerpt sounds great. Love the cover! Sounds like a great book!

    Lisa B

  3. This looks terrific, Dana ... I'm off to download it now!

    Shannon Hollis

  4. Wow! This looks great! Another one to add to the reading list.

  5. Thank you so much!!!! I'm really excited about this book as it's my first direct to ebook release. Very nervous, too. Hope readers will find it.

  6. OH MAN!!! I love the excerpt. I'm also blown away by your writing process. YOWZA! I feel like a sluggard. lol

  7. Leslie, so good to see you here!!!! I learned everything I know from you!


  8. Meg, the writing speed comes from lots of practice. Been doing this for about 20 years.