Please welcome Reagan Phillips to the blog today. Her latest release, Confess, is the first book of her Blue Line Series. Reagan is my RWA roommate and critique partner We’ve had many adventures together over the years reading our extremely rough drafts or traipsing all over New York during RWA.
Welcome, Reagan! Please tell us about your latest release.
My latest release, Confess, book 1 of the Blue Line Series, is a romantic suspense with a heaping tablespoon of sexy and a splash of redemption. Or, as one of my beta readers put it, it’s about cops, sex, and murder. I have to admit, I love that summary best.
Being married to a boy in blue, I’ve heard all the stories. Even the ones I could never put into print because no one would ever believe they could truly happen. Even before my husband and I met some #$ years ago, I’d always harbored a fascination with men in uniform. Maybe it’s the authority. Maybe it’s the personality of those who choose the profession. Maybe it was those damn tight biker shorts The Officer (my husband) wore for bike patrol the first few years we dated. Whatever the reason I’m a big fan. So, of course when I thought about the book I’d most want to write, police officers came to mind, and before long Mitch Kilpatrick and his domineering ways came to be.
What do you love most about your lead characters? What do you hate?
Have I mentioned I like alphas? But let’s face it. Alphas can sometimes come off as too overpowering and end up leaving us feeling more indifferent than interested. I love Mitch because he makes strong and domineering sexy, and he also has a very passionate side, which he isn’t afraid to show.
Lacy Andrews is a firecracker from the very beginning. She’s sassy and smart and knows how to take control of a heated situation. One of my favorite scenes with her is in the beginning of the book when a bar patron gets out of control and she pens him to his chair with a pink cowboy boot to his crotch. Ha! How many times have you wanted to do that to someone? She’s the best because she gets away with doing all those things we’d like to think we’d do. She embodies power, yet she also has a protected side. She’d been stung in the past and is careful when it comes to losing her heart to another, which causes plenty of trepidation when Mitch enters the scene.
As for what I hate? They are my babies. I don’t hate anything about them, though I’ve had a few reviews say there were times they wanted to slap Mitch and Lacy upside the head. Two hardheaded and independent characters learning to trust for the first time can do that to a reader. 🙂 I take it as a compliment.
Personally, I love Alphas. I loved Mitch when I first met him. Were there parts that were really difficult to write?
Without giving too much away, Lacy’s past was very emotional to write. Something horrific happened to her and writing the scene where she finally comes clean with the details of her childhood made me ugly cry. It’s so easy to fall in love with the characters as you write them and so difficult to see them get hurt. The scene where Lacy tells all actually went through the most edits in the book because I kept holding back. It look a critique partner, beta reader, and editor to finally pull the whole story out of me and get it all on paper.
What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?
While writing Lacy and thinking about what I wanted her life to be like at the end of this story, I thought about how bravery can be tested again and again in our lives and how each time we overcome a fear or learn to let someone new into our lives, we become a better person.
Lacy taught me to challenge myself daily. To do those things I’m afraid to do. Be a badass or at least think like one. That’s Lacy’s motto.
Wow, powerful stuff. What next from you? Dare I wish for more great Alpha Bad Boys?
I had so much fun writing the officer who becomes Mitch’s sidekick in Confess that I gave Officer Charlie Deluna his own book titled Uphold. Charlie is a good-old southern boy with a twist. Since being turned over to the state as a young boy, he’s wanted nothing more than to be included into a family. That need to belong is the driving force behind joining the police department, but his latest assignment might drive a wage between him and his brothers in blue.
Scarlett Rose is no stranger to trouble. She grew up thinking it was her middle name. Hailing from a family with a long line of abusers, she was the only woman to ever escape the Rose men. But freedom comes at a price. A price she can’t seem to ever fully pay. Now that her grandfather has died, Scarlett has returned to Rebel Rapids to claim the inheritance that is so rightfully hers in hopes it’s enough money to clean her dirty slate. But there’s one obstacle standing in her way. The officer who’s determined to expose her.
Thank you for having me today! This was great fun.
Here’s an excerpt (PG-13 rating) from Confess. She’ll be giving away a copy of Confess to one luck commenter.
If he wanted to murder a girl, Charlie’s Bar would be his first stop.
Tucked into a table in a back corner of the roadside dive, Detective Mitch Kilpatrick sank lower in his chair and swung a near empty bottle of lager to his lips.
The late summer heat wave packed the place with women in short skirts, skimpy tops, and cowboy boots. A slow country song crooned from speakers that flanked the empty dance floor. In darkened corners, bodies intertwined and bare skin flashed.
Yes, if he wanted to catch a killer he had to find where killers hunted. And that’s exactly what he’d done, meeting with a group of Rebel Rapids’ finest every night at Charlie’s for the past week.
To infiltrate the blockade of information the chief had hidden within the department, he’d have to play detective with his own breed to break the case.
Mitch drained his beer and signaled a passing waitress for another, hoping the buzz would drown out the memory of what had happened the last time he’d been to Rebel Rapids. The reason why he hoped he’d be able to hand his case over to Nashville before the temptation to take the kill shot grew too strong.
In and out. Two weeks tops. No one in Nashville had to be the wiser until he caught the asshole.
Deluna and Helms, two Rebel Rapids officers he’d scoped out a week ago, sat opposite him.
“I heard if you dab hot sauce on your tongue before oral she’ll scream your name into the next county.” Deluna leaned back in his chair and interlocked his fingers behind his head in the cocky bullshit-slinging way that came from too many hours on the job followed by too many beers. “Ever tried it?”
Helms heaved a sigh over his beer and rolled his eyes. “Dude, I’m engaged. Put a ring on it and those thighs lock up tighter than Fort Knox.”
“How about you?” Deluna unlocked his hands and grabbed his beer, swaying it in Mitch’s direction. “What’s the wildest thing you’ve done to get a woman off?”
Mitch deflected the question by accepting a fresh bottle from a redheaded waitress in painted-on daisy dukes and a pink halter top with Charlie’s scrawled across her ample chest. Walking away, she turned and winked, catching him appreciating the view of her round ass swaying beneath skintight denim.
Deluna drove a fist into Mitch’s shoulder. He gave the impression of the kid in school who tried too hard to make friends and ended up pissing everyone off. His nose was shoved so far up his partner’s ass he could smell what the off-duty officer had eaten for breakfast. “So is it redheads or waitresses?”
“Neither,” Mitch deadpanned and took another swig of beer.
Something that looked like disappointment washed over Deluna’s baby face.
“There’s a murderer on the loose and your main focus is foreplay?” Mitch grabbed his beer bottle by the neck and sank back into his chair.
His sexual preferences weren’t at the forefront of his mind tonight, and his dislike of small talk was showing. Even if his third beer worked some kind of suppressant magic on his ever-present detective brain, he wasn’t in the mood to blow two young officers’ minds with the sordid details of his explicit tastes.
He was fine with them thinking what everyone else thought of him. Typical Southern boy. Polite. Dedicated to his job. A gentleman with the ladies. They’d attribute his loner attitude to his driving work ethic.
He’d tried to be that man, the one who tenderly spooned her to sleep after fucking her brains out. But the missionary-style wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am bored him quickly, and the kind of women secure enough with themselves to enjoy his definition of fun didn’t exactly grow on trees in the Bible Belt.