Today I am so pleased to welcome Trina Lane to Joyfully Jay. Trina has come to talk to us about her latest release, An Imperfect Reunion, Book 6 in the Perfect Love series. She has also brought along an exclusive excerpt and a great giveaway! Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
First I want to say a special thanks to Joyfully Jay for inviting me to guest post on her blog. For those of you who live in the U.S. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! Can someone pass me the turkey and where’s those steamed green beans? 🙂
I’m so excited that my latest release is actually taking us all back to when I started writing. A short novel I wrote back in 2010 called The Perfect Union was supposed to be a stand alone book, but the muse demanded four more stories which became my Perfect Love series. I fell so in love with these characters that they became real to me and many of you as well. So I thought it was time to revisit our old friends. What better way to catch up with the group than a big reunion? And what’s a big family reunion without a little drama? Or in the case blowing up half an island 🙂
One of the greatest questions I got from a reader, when these books were released, was to ask me how long I’d lived in Boston and could I recommend some good places to visit for their upcoming trip. I of course expressed my gratitude for such an amazing compliment because I’ve only visited the city on two brief occasions in my life. With every book I spend countless hours researching the setting so I can get just the right feel for the story. Everything from architecture, politics, local eateries, parks and neighborhoods, to population and economic demographics. Which all holds true for this story as well, but I also had the chance to research some of the darker aspects of society.
What’s the best way to write a book about terrorism other than to stalk the FBI and NSA websites, watch videos on bombs detonating, and study blast patterns? My Google search bar frequently listed topics that I’m sure have landed me on several watch lists. I would often ask my husband random questions about different weapons models. What would be the best option for a given situation? Or would a bullet really take this kind of trajectory if a shot was taken from this position? Most of the time he’d answer my question then give me a strange look until he noticed I had my laptop open. One time I was at work and couldn’t get an idea out of my head about caliber and type of round used in a sniper rifle. So I sent him text. His response: “Should I be worried?”
But it was important to me to make this story about more than just bombs and bullets. These characters and their lives are the heart of what made this series so special. So I wanted to make sure that their reactions to what was happening around them were true to their personalities. Fortunately, I have access to mental health professionals who work with trauma survivors, and they provided invaluable insight about how varying individuals might cope or process their reactions to terror events. But this book was not meant to be dark or heavy with emotional turmoil so a little humor and some good old fashioned tormenting by close friends was a must: Conor’s crazy Irish sayings, Trevor’s outlandish antics, Chase’s inability to cook anything edible, Logan’s new ability to laugh at his own limitations, and then there’s the kids.
So hopefully I’ve put together an action packed, tender, comedy, suspense novel that will remind all of you why we love these characters so much. Thanks for spending a little bit of your day with me and hopefully you enjoyed this little glance behind the scenes.
Oh and I’m giving away 2 copies of An Imperfect Reunion, so look below for details!!
Rick walked up behind Conor and kissed the back of his neck. The room still had that dull gray early morning hue.
“Did you sleep at all?”
“A wee bit.”
Conor turned away from the hotel room window and faced Rick. He took Conor in his arms, rubbing their cheeks together, then kissed Conor’s temple.
“Have I told you have much I love this beard you grew? It feels so good on my skin and makes you look incredibly hot.”
Conor chuckled. “I’m glad yer loike it. It was just supposed ter keep me face warm dis winter, but it’s kind of grown on me. I guess quite literally.”
Conor sighed and Rick accepted his weight. “Everything okay?”
They had arrived in Honolulu shortly after midnight. The plan for the day was for everyone to relax with their own families and get together this evening for the Paradise Cove Luau. But Rick knew Conor well enough to guess that something was on his mind.
Conor gave Rick a kiss then walked over to the chair in the corner of the room. He glanced at Calleigh, still asleep in their bed. The boys and Alannah were out cold in the adjoining room.
“I heard Ar Grah’ talkin’ ter Miranda de other day an’ she mentioned bein’ late.”
Rick frowned. “Late for what? I know it was a bit chaotic getting back to LAX after our Disney adventure.”
“I think she meant late…late.”
Rick’s legs went weak and he ended up on the foot rest. “Are you sure?” He did some quick math in his head, but the numbers weren’t coming into focus. “Do you remember the last time she…”
Conor shook his head. “It’s been so crazy wi’ work, getting’ ready, an’ de kids’ schedules. What do yer think?”
Rick felt tears gather in his eyes and he couldn’t stop his lips from curving up. They’d been trying to get pregnant for almost a year.
“We’re probably putting the cart before the horse here.”
“What are ye batherin’ aboyt?”
“What? You’re not the only one who can have crazy phrases. All I’m saying is we should probably ask our wife if she actually is pregnant before we start making plans or thinking about what colors to paint the nursery.”
“I will say that I can’t wait to have a ginger-haired little one with aqua eyes asking to hold us.”
They had all agreed and made physical effort to ensure that if another baby was going to join the family Conor would be the biological father. Since Calleigh had the boys from her first marriage and Alannah’s biological parentage was pretty obvious, they wanted to make their circle complete. It wasn’t as if they loved their children any different from each other, but having a blended family that shared traits from each of them would be special.
Conor smiled. “Aye, but our wee mcnugget could end up bein’ an Irish ’ellion”
Rick knelt on the floor between Conor’s legs then ran his hands up them. He leaned in and kissed his bare stomach just above the waistband of the shamrock boxers.
“Hellion or sweet Irish rose, she or he will be part you and part Calleigh. There’s no question I’ll love them till the end of time.”
“A chuisle mo chroí, Cáran”
“You’re the pulse of my heart, too.”
* * * *
Calleigh flipped her hair off her shoulder, but the strands just ended up back where they started as another waft of breeze coming off the ocean caressed her skin. She probably should have tied it up, but she knew Rick and Conor liked it when they could nuzzle her neck between the strands. She sighed and leaned back against Rick as he did exactly that. Soon they would find their seats for the dinner and show at the Paradise Cove Luau, but for the moment, the group was exploring the Hawaiian village.
“You doing okay, Angel?”
She nodded. “Feet hurt a little from all our walking today, but this is amazing. Thank you so much for suggesting it.”
“Tell you what, when we get to the table I’ll sit across from you and give you a foot massage. You used to love that when you were pregnant with Alannah. Think it would feel nice?”
“Mmhm. And after a long day at work and on every other Sunday. Sounds like you’re fishing. If you have a question, just ask me.”
“Okay. You caught me. Conor thought he heard you talking to Miranda yesterday about being late and…”
“And since we’ve been enjoying so much practicing you want to know if we’ve made it to the big game?”
“Something like that.”
“I don’t know yet. And that’s the honest truth. Yes, I’m a couple days late, but that’s happened before. I don’t want to get our hopes up.”
She inhaled the sweet scent of the flowers that filled the air. The petals littered the white sand of the beach beneath their feet. She held her hand up to catch an orchid as it floated toward her. Rick kissed her bare shoulder and her children’s laughter rang in her ears. If ever she’d lived a more dreamlike experience she couldn’t remember.
She looked to her right and saw Michael standing next to his brother and DeShawn. “Can we go check out the spear throwing?”
“Yes, but ask one of the other adults to go with you. I don’t want you guys wandering around here alone.”
“Okay!” Brandon screamed as he grabbed the other boys’ hands and they ran off.
She heard the herald of the conch shell, signal that it was time for the fishing nets to be brought in. Many of the luau attendees were headed over to watch or participate, but she wasn’t interested. She scanned the immediate area looking for Alannah, and saw her and Gabriella digging in the sand near Miranda and Vic.
“What do you think our chances are of bribing the dancers to pull Niall up on stage?”
She couldn’t help but laugh at the image of Mr. Introspective shaking it up on stage for hundreds to see. “I think we have a better chance of having a Menehune appear on stage.”
“Well, they do say those sneaky little buggers are nocturnal and like to party.”
Soft music drifted to her on the breeze and Calleigh saw a group of women giving a demonstration on how to hula. Her stomach chose that moment to rumble and Rick must have felt the vibrations because he chuckled behind her.
“Well, clearly somebody is ready for the feast that is about to begin. I think I might get myself another one of those Mai Tais. How about you?”
She shook her head. “I’ll stick with water.”
Rick turned Calleigh in his arms and tilted her head up. “As soon as you’re sure? Either way. We can always make a run to the drug store. They do have those here, you know.”
She kissed him. “I know.” Calleigh frowned as she spied Ryan looking at his phone and talking to Logan. It didn’t seem like a happy conversation. “What do you suppose is going on over there?” she said pointing behind Rick.
Rick looked over his shoulder and shrugged. “I’m not sure. Maybe they lost at fantasy football?”
Maybe, but something seemed off to her. Both men had postures that spoke of tension and trouble. Vacation or not, some folks never quite left the office.
* * * *
Ethan stared at the surfboard lying on the sand. Logic insinuated that the thing wasn’t going to jump up and bite his leg off, but that didn’t mean the board didn’t have nefarious intent.
“You do realize I’m going to fall on my face, right?”
“Of course, you are,” Ryan said, smirking.
He looked up at his husband. The sun made the copper highlights in his dark hair stand out. Not something often noticeable this time of year in Boston. Especially since, when he checked the weather this morning, it was predicted that the city was supposed to get another ten inches of snow today.
Ha ha, suckers!
“You don’t have to look so smug about it.”
Ryan squatted down and took the bar of Sex Wax away from him.
“You’re doing it all wrong.”
“Hey, I have exactly three hours of experience at this, and since when are you an expert surfer?”
“I wasn’t always in the FBI, remember? Back when I was in the Navy I was stationed at Pearl for a few years. I spent many hours of my misspent youth riding the pipe on the North Shore.”
“Ah, yes. Your rebel without a cause phase. The bad boy of the U.S. Navy. I’m still surprised the Feds let you join their black suit party.”
Ryan put the bar of wax down. “Don’t forget I know all your dirty little secrets you keep hidden behind that straight-laced lawyer façade.”
Ethan took a quick look over his shoulder. “Shush. Deshawn doesn’t need to know that we were anything other than the responsible adults he’s familiar with.”
Ryan chuckled and shook his head. “Right,” he said drawing out the word. “Okay, you’re all set. Remember what the instructor said yesterday?”
“Umm. Sort of. Paddle, float, stand, surf. Nothing to it!”
“Oh, man, this is going to be good. Hey, D, are you ready to show your dad up on the waves?”
“Yeah! Try not to get eaten by a shark, Dad.”
Ethan shook his head. “Well, if I see one I’ll just tell him that younger boys have more tender meat. I’m all tough and gristly.”
Ryan felt around his shorts then took his phone out of his pocket. He looked down and frowned.
“What’s wrong?” Ethan asked.
“Nothing. Just work stuff.”
“Ry, we’re on vacation.”
“Baby, there’s no such thing as vacation for the guy in charge. It just means I’m out of the office. But don’t worry, it’s nothing urgent. Just another notice from Washington regarding some chatter.”
Ryan looked at Ethan, but didn’t say anything.
“Right. Need to know. Well, do me a favor and if that chatter says some nutcase plans on setting off a nuke in Pearl City, you’ll let me know right?”
“Baby, if that were to happen, it wouldn’t matter if I told you or not. We’d all be dead, anyway.”
“Not if the 5-0 Task Force was on the case. They prevent terrorist attacks on a weekly basis. And they do it in spectacular style.”
“You’re obsessed with that show.”
“Alex O’Loughlin is hot.”
“True, but you do realize how unrealistic those storylines are, right? I mean Navy Seal or not, nobody can save the world that many times.”
“Aww, don’t worry, I don’t need Alex when I have my very own superhero.”
Ethan wrapped his arms around Ryan’s waist and kissed him.
“Dad, stop sucking face and let’s go!”
“As much as I would love to make out with you in the sand, our son is currently diving through the break waves.”
Ethan spun around. “Deshawn Harrison-Ashton, stop right there!” He picked up the surfboard and high-kneed his way into the surf.
Their plans for a paradise vacation didn’t include bullets and bombs.
The gang from Boston has decided to celebrate their friendship with a group vacation. The plans are perfect. The setting is paradise. But before they can soak up the sun and sip their Mai Tais, the group finds themselves embroiled in a terrorist attack.
Scattered to the corners of the island, the group of friends must find their way back to each other. Meanwhile, Ryan becomes the key to unravelling the terrorist organization. Is the group’s love for their partners, and each other, strong enough to survive the turmoil of an attack designed to rip apart the fabric of their country?
If you look up the word conundrum in the dictionary, there should be Trina’s photo next to the description. Her multifaceted personality has left her friends scratching their heads in wonder. A scientist with a passion for history, music and photography she loves to travel and experience new places but is terminally shy around people she doesn’t know.
Trina has been devouring romance novels since her tender teenage years. In 2007 she finally took the initiative to write down one of stories that had been rattling around her head for years, and has never looked back. Her choices in reading and writing material are as diverse as her iTunes library, which contains music from Mozart to Metallica. Her one concession is all stories must have a happily ever after ending. Did we mention she’s incurably romantic?
Trina has brought two ebook copies of An Imperfect Reunion to give away to two lucky readers. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Tuesday, November 28th at 11:59 pm ET.
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
- If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
- Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
- Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
- All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
- By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
- Readers may only enter once for each contest. Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
- Void where prohibited by law.