An aloof bodyguard and mercenary puts his heart on the line in HIDDEN IMPACT, the first book in the Safeguard series by Piper J. Drake.
Fans of Marie Force’s Fatal series or Laura Kaye’s Hard As It Gets, will love this brand new romantic suspense series.
He’s not the hero she’s looking for…
As part of the elite Centurion Corporation team, military-veteran-turned-mercenary Gabriel Diaz is a natural defender. He’ll do anything to ensure a mission is successful. Anything but get emotionally invested—he learned the hard way that can be deadly. Easy bodyguard jobs in between the more challenging missions are all he’s interested in now.
Maylin Cheng is desperate and running out of time. Her younger sister has gone missing but no one seems to take her concern seriously. Her last hope lies in asking an aloof bodyguard for help. He dismisses her outright, but all that changes when she is almost killed in a not-so-accidental hit-and-run right before his eyes.
As Maylin leans on Gabriel, she begins to rely on him for more than just her safety. But as their attraction grows, so does the danger surrounding them. When the elaborate web they’re trapped in unravels, Gabriel will do anything to protect them. Even if that means putting his heart in the crosshairs.
Book one of the Safeguard series
Piper J. Drake (or “PJ”) began her writing career as “PJ Schnyder” writing sci-fi & paranormal romance and steampunk. She has recently received the FF&P PRISM award for her work as well as the NJRW Golden Leaf award and Parsec award.
Now, PJ is exploring the complexity of romantic suspense, incorporating her interests in a mixed martial arts and the military into her writing.
Interview with Piper J. Drake:
Hi PJ, thank you for joining us today, could you tell us a little about yourself please?
Hai! I’m Piper J. Drake, author of romantic suspense and lover of cupcakes!
Ahem. It’s always hard to know what little bits about myself would be interesting as opposed to not. A few things about me:
- I’m a dog and cat lover. I used to have 3 dogs and a ninja kitty but as time has gone by, all but the ninja kitty have passed away.
- I travel about 85% of my time for my day job and love sharing my travel hijinx with my FB, Twitter, and Instagram followers
- I love to eat and I share my restaurant adventures during my travels via Yelp and TripAdvisor
That’s the snapshot. I hope those were some fun facts about me that aren’t necessarily in a bio.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
HIDDEN IMPACT is a romantic suspense with inspirations from the stories my military veteran friends have told me and influences from my growing up Asian American.
What about your previous books, tell us a bit about them and how we can get our hands on them.
I’m previously published as PJ Schnyder and have several science fiction and paranormal romance books available.
What are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?
Time management is probably my biggest challenge as a writer. From a writing perspective, there’s always more stories I want to write and more ideas than I have time to write them. And then there’s all the other things a writer needs to do to make a writing career successful from social media to marketing to administrative work to behind-the-scenes shenanigans. It’s a lot to do and making sure it all gets done is always a work in progress.
I’m not sure there are easy parts about being a writer, but there are joyous parts that are easier because I take joy from them. The actual writing, editing, and reading my work (sometimes for revisions and sometimes for audio recording) are incredibly fun experiences. So dedicating energy to them is a pleasure.
Who or what has helped you become a better writer over time?
The writing community, both online and in person, has been integral to my development as a writer over time. There are countless resources online. To name one, Miss Snark’s First Victim (http://misssnarksfirstvictim.blogspot.com/), is a fantastic community for writers to learn and get constructive feedback without being overwhelmed.
In person, meeting fellow authors has been invaluable. It’s a great thing meeting nifty people, being inspired by the awesome projects they are working on, and then going out yourself to do nifty things.
When you consider your future, what would you like to make happen for you?
I would like to build a solid writing career sharing stories my readers enjoy.
Simple, but there it is.
Where can we find you to tell you how amazing we think you are?
Play Find the Piper around the Internet for insight into her frequent travels and inspirations for her stories.
And finally… If you were ever stranded on a deserted island what would you miss and which three books would you take along?
I’d miss the variety of food to be explored in traveling all around the world.
The books I’d take along? Tough choice! Here are three I find myself going back to re-read over and over without getting tired of them:
- The Ship Who Searched by Anne McCaffrey
- Queen of the Darkness by Anne Bishop
- When Demons Walk by Patricia Briggs
Thanks again PJ. It’s been great talking to you. 🙂
Excerpt from Hidden Impact:
“What you need to do is hear me out.” Steel edged her voice now, and maybe a bit of desperation.
It was the former, not the latter, that made him take a real look at her.
Her eyes caught him first. Deep emerald green. Shocking, actually, set in a delicate Asian face framed by a cascade of hair so black the lighting caught blue highlights. Her features were naturally beautiful, accented with a minimal amount of makeup. Very different from the majority of the people in attendance, regardless of gender.
Color leached from her face as she must have realized she had his full attention. But she didn’t back away or break eye contact. Good for her. Lesser men had balked when Gabe had stared them down.
“My little sister is missing.” The edge was gone from her words but the desperation was still there.
Anger washed away. Damn. “I’m sorry, miss. But the police are the people to contact.”
Political targets, reporters and prisoners of war were the kidnap victims private military might be contracted to locate and retrieve. The kind of people held for ransom in places so far off the radar, even sunlight might not find them. And those weren’t his team’s specialty.
The woman in front of him was a normal civilian. Willowy, slender. The thought of a little sister conjured up images of some tiny waiflike kid. He and his partners were heavy hitters, not the kind of people you sent in to do anything but cause strategic destruction. They went into hot spots overseas and did the things politicians didn’t admit to knowing about at these glitzy events, things a US uniform wouldn’t be doing. Delicate, gentle—the sort of handling a traumatized girl retrieved from a kidnapping situation would need—was not their forte.
The older sister shook her head. “I’ve spoken to the police and the US Embassy. No one will do anything, not yet. And by the time they believe something’s actually wrong, I might never find her.”
Missing persons cases were tough. She was right about the time crunch. There was only a short window before the abducted was more than likely dead. Considering what could have already happened, death might not be the worst thing either.
Definitely not going to add to what this woman was already imagining. Hopefully she didn’t know what could happen.
“You’d do better hiring a private investigator.” He drew his eyebrows together, tried not to let the urge to squirm under her very direct stare show. Damn. Give him vapid groupies and a clueless entourage and he had no problem staring them down. This woman, it was like she could see straight through him and know how much he didn’t want to cause a scene at this very moment. There was nothing good he could do for her.