I'm getting excited about my first book in a number of years. It's called Foster Justice and is an e-Kensington release this December right before Christmas.

I'm having some magnetic 2015 calendars printed I'm happy to share with an SASE and the proper postage to return it.

If anyone is interested please contact me privately. It has a pic of the book and my new web site address along with a QR code.

This will be the first of a series; I'm putting the finishing touches on Book 2. They're about Texas Rangers, something in my blood because one of the first people buried in Brownwood Co. TX was a Texas Ranger, my direct ancestor and I've always wanted to write about them.

Thanks, Colleen
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Published on October 10, 2014 10:16 • 722 views • Tags: los-angeles, romantic-suspense, texas-rangers, west-texas
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message 1: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Shannon I'm sitting by myself in Horseshoe Bay in my sister's vacation home. She's traveling and I came here to work on my script version of Heaven's Rogue. I posted the first act on my web site if anyone is curious but I have a lot of work to do yet to make it submission ready. But this alone time has also allowed me to be a bit more contemplative than usual. I posted some sunrise pics on twitter if anyone is interested in seeing what a Texas sunrise looks like.

Am I the only one bothered by the increasing cynicism of our world? I see it everywhere, even in people who used to be cock eyed optimists. Of course I'm sure the economic downturn affected that, but it seems to go beyond that. For example, IMO kids are growing up too soon, sometimes even pushed by their parents to over achieve. I still remember playing in the mud and climbing trees but most of the kids I know stay on social media. There's something liberating of both spirit and body coming inside coated with mud and having your mom scold you and make you get in the tub. How do we know our limits if we don't push them once in awhile? Propriety and decorum have their places, but not at the expense of losing our sense of wonder and exploration.

Anyway, this Christmas season seemed a good time to share such thoughts. As for the remedy, that's no doubt different for everyone. For myself, I'm resolving to adhere to my own advice by spending more time every day enjoying where I am right at this minute and agonizing less on where I'll be two years from now. And then if the zombie apocalypse does come at least I'll be able to climb trees...LOL.

Happy holidays, all, I'd love to hear what everyone thinks of Foster Justice.

Colleen


message 2: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Shannon Hi everyone sorry it's taken me so long to post. I've been trying to post more often at twitter and facebook. The links are on my web page at www.colleenshannonauthor.com.

But here they are: https://www.facebook.com/RomanceWriter

https://twitter.com/bookwriter2001

My publisher, Kensington Lyrical Press, just ran a promotion on the sequel to Foster Justice, titled Sinclair Justice, with a print ad in Cowgirl magazine, special placement on their web site, and I want to host an 'ask the author' chat for anyone interested. I'll post details closer to the publication date of late July. Here's the link to purchase:

http://www.amazon.com/Sinclair-Justic...

And Kensington is also currently running a promotion on Foster Justice, the first book in the series, for .99c. Here's that link:

http://www.amazon.com/Foster-Justice-...

Also, a couple days after they ran the cover on Book Bub, Foster Justice was #1 on Western Romance at Amazon! It didn't last long, but still, I'm happy I made the list. This was May 6th and it made it all the way to #12 on suspense.

It's very fun to create my own worlds and the people who populate them. For anyone familiar with my work, in Sinclair Justice I brought my Shelly Holmes character to life as Abigail Doyle in the modern world. She's a forensics specialist working with the Texas Rangers and is my image of Shelly Holmes as a modern woman. Would love to hear what ya'll think!

Colleen


message 3: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Shannon I want to share an article I read in the San Antonio paper about the longest serving TX ranger. Real life, not imaginary, but I think in just reading about him you can see why the Rangers reached such mythic status. Only 150 of them yet they work the toughest cases throughout the state and collaborate with all other state and federal agencies. It's interesting to hear what he says about the cases that haunt him.

Note he's part of the Ranger Reconnaisance team that polices drug traffickers near the Texas border. So my imaginary Ross Sinclair has solid precedence behind him. Enjoy!

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/loca...


message 4: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Shannon I wanted to share some of my newest Ranger book, in progress. It's due to my publisher in early January and it's flowing so well I don't foresee an obstacle in making the date.

For a long time, I've wanted to write a story centered around the samurai culture but it took me awhile to figure out how to link that with the Texas Rangers as the two philosophies, on the surface, seem very different. At their core, however, they're not--both center on honor, serving a hopefully just master (in the case of the samurai a shogun, for the Ranger, the State of Texas) and both embody that peculiar independence and roaming lifestyle of the true warrior who has to think on his feet with his brain and his heart.

So I came up with a half Japanese heroine seeking her family's ancient sword that has been lost over the years and is in the possession of the operational chief of the Texas Rangers in Austin. Very high up. He bought it legally at auction and paid a fortune for it. She breaks in to steal it and has to confront the Ranger's son as she tries to flee. He's a former Army Ranger, but his father is trying to convince him to join the Rangers. He has a mild case of PTSD and bad case of the wandering bug so he's torn, also, as action opens.

So both hero and heroine are wounded, with demons to face. Both will grow and heal as they face them together, but of course after much trauma along the way.

I think my opening scene between them is one of the most engaging I've ever written and I wanted to share a peek in this next post. I saw a Samurai exhibit at the San Antonio museum of art and they had a sword on display from the 1300's. I felt as I did when I saw Van Gogh's Starry Night in person in Paris, and when I stood in front of the dingy case holding King Tut's mask in Cairo: I was looking at not only fabulous history but the sheer beauty of what man can create when we're at our best.

I want this story to capture both that sense of gratitude to our ancestors and the wonder of what we can create, especially when we put aside our biases and open our minds and hearts....

Colleen


message 5: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Shannon TRAVIS JUSTICE --- Chapter One
The Japanese half of her wanted to smash these cases and every valuable relic, but the prudent Norwegian side kept her calmly searching.
It wasn’t here….The maid she’d bribed had claimed she’d cleaned the priceless fifteenth century Samurai sword and returned it to its place. Desperately, she searched again, a bit more jerkily this time.

Moving with that quiet assuredness he’d learned in years of football, baseball and Army Ranger military training, Zach strode to the landing and descended the stairs. Not wanting to wake his parents, he automatically avoided the creaky floorboard that had been there since he could remember. He’d reached the ground floor, the black and white marble tiles cool against the soles of his feet, when he saw a tiny flicker of light dancing under the closed study door.
There, then gone. Like the fireflies he remembered from his youth, but never saw any more.
There it was again, not a firefly, more like a small but very bright flashlight waving about in the darkness. Instantly, he was on alert. His weight raised to the balls of his feet in readiness, he eased forward.

Finally, Hana’s light found a long case that held a sword, but she knew a split second later it wasn’t Samurai. It had the long curved blade of a Turkish scimitar and though the hilt was laden with gold and jewels, she felt only dismay. It wasn’t here! What would she tell them??
She’d failed. Panicked, she bit her lip so hard through the mask that she tore a tiny hole in the nylon. Unless… maybe there was a safe room? She began feeling along the bookcases. She couldn’t crack one, but she knew people who could, and if need be she’d return. Her presence had gone unnoticed so far. Maybe they wouldn’t take time to view the surveillance footage with no evidence of an intruder—
The thought barely fired through her brain before she heard the slightest noise. She spun toward the sound, waving the flashlight. The study lever handle, the heavy ornate kind, turned. One way, the other. Almost soundless, but her senses were unusually acute.
Thanking the caution that had made her lock the heavy door, she ran toward the French doors leading onto the patio before she remembered she’d not deactivated the alarm, intending to ease out the way she’d come in. She spun around, frantic as she wondered what to do. No closet to hide in; the drapes were sheer and both were merely delaying tactics anyway. She heard a slight pause, then a key in the lock.
Her searching gaze swept upward.

Warily, Zach paused on the threshold. That sixth sense awareness the special forces training had drilled into him tingled from his nape to his spine. The room was dark--no evidence of a light of any kind. He put one foot over the threshold, feeling, not seeing or hearing, a presence.
He eased forward another foot, 20-30 vision acute eyes scanning carefully from one end of the room to the other. Nothing. He tried the French door. Still locked. Even the security alarm stayed a steady red. Was he imagining things as a remnant of his nightmare? How could they have a home invasion with the alarm still active? Then he recalled that shadow….the one that slipped past his bed upstairs. The open window…
He’d turned to visually sweep the room again when a very slight rustle caught his attention. Above his head. He looked up. Even his good night vision took a moment to distinguish between the black shade clinging to the study crossbeams and the dark wood. Holy Crap! An intruder clung to the rafters. He’d leaped toward the alarm pad to push the alert button when a weight dropped on his back and knocked him off balance.
As tackles went, it wasn’t fierce and Zack knew the person attacking him couldn’t weigh much. He easily turned his body mass sideways as he fell, landing half on the intruder, surprised at the slight but soft feel of the body under his. He heard breath oof! out from his weight. However, though the attacker wasn’t big, the figure was incredibly lithe and nimble, for before he finished turning, his hands reaching out to grasp shoulders, arms, legs, whatever he could reach, the attacker had writhed away and risen, running toward the open study door.
Zach was a bit slower, but his strides were much longer, and he caught the fleeing black shape by the back of the hood. He heard Velcro tearing and then the hood came away. Even in the darkness lit only by weak moonlight from the window, Zach saw long, glossy dark hair fall over narrow shoulders. He wasn’t really surprised to be confronted by a woman when he caught a hank of hair.
Yelping, she came to a stop, not resisting when he tugged on her hair, forcing her to face him.
With his other hand, he snapped on the light switch.

Hana blinked at the sudden wash of light and for a few seconds, the tall, muscular figure towering over her was a blur. She quit tugging, trying to get away, hoping the grip on her hair would loosen, but instead the man facing her wrapped his hand around her long hair and tugged her toward him.
“Who the hell are you and what do you want?” the man growled.

Hana was mute, staring up at the reluctant scion of the family, Zachary William Barrett Travis the gazillionth or whatever it was. She’d seen his picture in her research. He’d upset his entire family by wandering all over the world, then joining the Army Rangers for eight years, then wandering again. He’d refused to take up his family responsibilities, reportedly to the extreme frustration of his father, who also, according to the maid who’d given her firsthand knowledge of the family, wanted Zach to join the Texas Rangers.
She’d made a mental note of how handsome he was the first time she Googled his image on the web, but a static photo couldn’t do his vitality justice. His hair was tousled from the nightmare she’d seen him thrashing in as she slipped past his bed. His chiseled features, with that perfect cleft chin that had been true generation through generation in the Travis family, reminded her a bit of Brad Pitt in the movie Troy, one of her favorites with its warrior ethos and battles to the death…Hana kept her black gaze steady on his upper half, but in her peripheral vision she noted one of his snaps had slipped open.
“Start talking or I’m calling the police.” He pulled her a bit closer as his gaze scanned the study, looking for open cases or signs of theft, she knew.
What did she do now? If she were discovered and sent to prison, Kai would have supreme authority over the most important person in the world to her. She had to avoid that at all costs. Hana’s heart galloped like her favorite Arabian in her breast, but she kept her expression calm even when the man began running his free hand over her, as if to frisk her. But he paused where he shouldn’t….She was used to that, but it still pissed her off. She was close enough that if she’d leaned forward she could have nuzzled his light spattering of blondish brown chest hair that matched the thick, unruly locks shining even in the dim study light. The hairs on the back of her neck and her arms stood up with something she told herself was fear, but she knew it was more than that.
She’d never been much attracted to blondes, but she’d never been in such close quarters to a half naked one before. Instinct told her to wait, to let him think he had the upper hand, quite literally, because this time his hand stroked up her side dangerously near her breast. When she stayed silent, he pulled her even closer, until she could feel every sinewy inch of his fit body. Given the way he touched her, she’d already picked up on the fact that the strange, reluctant instant attraction she felt was mutual. She’d been expecting it, and when he finally released her hair to reach around her to shackle her wrists, she assumed to lock step her to the phone, she used his slacker grip against him. Supple as an eel, she slithered sideways, using her hips and all her body weight, tae kwondo like, against him, to pull him slightly off balance. He was tall and solid, but when she kicked him in the shin as she moved for good measure, his loose grip broke and she twisted free.
He stumbled, recovering quickly, but it was enough to allow her to reach the hallway.
This time, he tackled her, catching her about the hips to force her to her knees. The marble smacked into her patellas, but she had no time for pain. As she fell, she caught her weight on her hands and bowed her back, using the leverage it gave her to straighten, knees spread for stability and smack her head backward as she did so. She had a very good idea that he was bent over her, that arrogant, cleft chin offering a nice bullseye. Sure enough, she felt the point of his chin and then his own gratifying !oof as she caught him obviously off guard. She scrambled to her feet.
When he recovered enough to grab again, he only reached for air because she’d already halfway reached the front door. However, she was slowed as she had to unlatch two very solid locks so she was reaching for the knob when he whacked her hand away and trapped her, both hands flat against the door framing her head.
A smile quirked those arrogant lips, allowing her to see the rim of his perfect white teeth. “What now?”
She was pretty sure now he wouldn’t call the police since he’d searched her and visually scoped out the study, so he knew she hadn’t stolen anything. But she had a feeling his father would make an even more critical audience, so she had to finagle her way out of here and she had to do it quietly.
“I didn’t take anything, let me go,” she finally said.
“Oh, so you can talk. Why did you break into my house?”
“Your house? Your father would probably have something to say about that--Zachary.”
His blue eyes, the exact color of the Aegean Sea she’d sailed once with Kai, narrowed. “Who the hell are you?”
“No one.” She fingered behind her with her hand again, feeling for the knob.
“We’ll let the police decide that.” Snatching her hand away from the knob, he caught her wrist to pull her back toward the study.
So much for her reading of his character….
She acted on instinct. His towel shower wrap had lost another snap in their struggle. If she hadn’t been so desperate to get away she would have enjoyed the sight of so much unfettered male power. His years in the Army Rangers had sculpted him into pin up status, except there was nothing air brushed or fake about his six pack abs and pure symmetry, broad shoulders angling down into his lean waist. He was primal, powerful and a fitting adversary, and the tingling at her nape and other inconvenient places might have intrigued her at a less divisive moment.
As it was, she pretended to let herself be pulled behind him back toward the gaping study door. But they’d only moved a few steps when she caught her fingers in the waist of his sagging wrap and jerked. The wrap fell to the floor.
He stopped cold, making an indistinct sound that sounded like a garbled, ‘fuck me.’ His buttocks were as solid, though nicely round, and not quite as muscular, as the rest of him. He looked back over his shoulder, and she saw his high cheekbones were red. She knew his dilemma. If he turned she’d see all of him in full frontal She watched him weigh modesty and duty. For the first time that night, she smiled.
While he debated, she tugged her wrist, and finally was free. She couldn’t help it; she slapped his buttocks with her gloved hand on her way to the door, delighted with the meaty echo against all the fancy marble and woodwork.
Her own smile showing perfect white teeth, she flung open the door. “Next time, I’ll bring a twenty!”


message 6: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Shannon My historic development I wanted to do in downtown Smithville fell through because the owner and I couldn't agree on pricing. I can't make the deal work as a five year cash flowing operation, which I'd have to do to satisfy the federal requirements for the tax credits. A pity because I was truly looking forward to bringing these buildings back to their full glory. I'd include a pic if I could but this blog doesn't seem to allow it.

I've found another parcel in Austin I like but it's quite expensive so I'm not sure if I can put it all together...but I'm working on it in between books!


message 7: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Shannon Still working on Travis Justice. I've had so many distractions lately that it's not going as fast as I would like but I can write really quickly when motivated and I'm getting to the fun part. Plus I've enjoyed all the research about the samurai, karate, zen gardens and the like. I've traveled to a lot of places but have never made it to Japan as of yet. I'd like to visit someday.

My older son just bought his first house. I'm so proud of him. I assisted a bit with the down payment so I have a red carpet invitation to be there. LOL Haven't abused it, in fact since I have a key I've gone over a couple of times to meet the cable guy etc. so he didn't have to take off work during business hours.

My younger son has gone back to school. I'm so relieved; he's very bright but hasn't been applying himself so I'm happy. It's a start. He has a girlfriend and is doing well.

My latest fun activity is playing Texas Hold 'Em. I've only been playing actively a bit over a year but am getting better all the time. More often than not most times when I play I make the final table. As I said in one of my facebook posts, I have a slight edge because men have a hard time reading me, life imitating art I guess LOL.

I may be going to Palm Springs in the next few months. I have a dear friend from CA who has a lovely home there and my sister will probably go with me. Girl weekend!

More later....


message 8: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Shannon It's been too long since I posted here, sorry for the delay. I just got an email from Kensington's publicity department and they're planning quite a bit of promotion for my upcoming title, Travis Justice.

Blog tours, net galley advanced review copies, even some advertising. If any bookseller or blogger wants an advance copy please email me and let me know and I'll be sure you're added to the net galley list. I'd also like to ask what everyone who reads this thinks of filmed book trailers? I've done some web research and they seem to be growing in popularity, so I'm toying with the idea of doing one. I have a friend in LA who's done a bunch of shorts and won tons of festivals including a scholarship at the AFI. But it will take all my promotion budget in one fell swoop. However, this book is also very visually striking and would translate very well to the big screen. If I didn't have so many other obligations, including a new series to Kensington, I'd be writing it as a script now.

Since I started writing professionally a long time ago before the internet, I'm still a bit green when it comes to promotion, but I want to put out a bit more effort for this book because I think it's possibly the best one I've ever written. I don't say that lightly, and here's why: My style is much sparer than it used to be, and this story I think captures so many different emotions. The debt we owe to our ancestors; love between mother and son and grandfather and granddaughter; the pains of distrust overcome between two very similar people from two very different worlds as Zach and Hana fight their common enemy and find love most unexpectedly along the way. Even the high and mighty operational chief of the Texas Rangers, Zach's conservative law man Dad, will soften to Hana by the end of the book when he sees her willing to die for her own principles. How could a true Texas Ranger not admire her for that?

And perhaps most interesting of all, the sword, that wonderful Masamune symbol of truth and justice, is virtually a character in itself. If you like the legend of Excaliber, you should like my Nakatomi katana.....

Not easy to write such a complex story in a contemporary suspense format, would have been much easier in one of my 400 plus page historicals lol.

As always I'd love to hear personally what ya'll think.....

I'll post more when I have more details.


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