Slater’s Leverage by Claudia Shelton

SR_BlitzBadgeAn agent is assigned to protect the only woman he ever loved and deserted, while he continues to hide the secret involvement of his family in her parent’s death in Slater’s Leverage by Claudia Shelton

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SlatersLeverage_Cover

Title: Slater’s Leverage
Author: Claudia Shelton
Series: The OPAQUE Task Force
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Pub. Date: November 10, 2015
Format: Digital eBook
ISBN: 978-0-9968226-0-2

Synopsis:

Protector Agent Josh Slater has spent years working for the secret government-sponsored agency known as OPAQUE. All the while hoping to find the man who paid his father to bring down a plane killing the then head of OPAQUE. Now, Josh’s new assignment brings him back face-to-face with the one woman he ever deserted. His life would have been easier letting Mackenzie continue to hate him for leaving, but she’s been targeted as leverage and he’ll do anything to insure her survival. Even face her anguish over his family’s shame.

Mackenzie Baudin has been over Josh Slater for years, so the idea of her uncle sending him to be her protector meant only a slight hiccup in her steel resolve emotions. But her uncle’s promise that within the next twenty-four hours she would know the complete truth about her life hit her like the plane crash ten years ago. The day her mother and father were killed.

Find out more at: Goodreads | Amazon

Excerpt from SLATER’S LEVERAGE

“What’s going on?” Josh asked his boss.
“OPAQUE intercepted Coercion Ten’s Target List again last night. My name’s still there. So’s yours.”
“Sounds about right.” Most every OPAQUE agent had their name on the enemy’s list. If not, then Josh figured you needed to work a little harder at pissing them off.
“They’ve added a new column. Titled it—Leverage. There’s nothing in that column next to yours. Next to mine is one name.”  Drake speed dialed his phone again. “Mackenzie Baudin.”
Josh’s chest tightened as if a belt had been notched three sizes too small. Not only was Macki an ex-cop, wealthy hotel owner, and the boss’s niece, she was also the only woman Josh had never shook from his system. The idea she was a target in the underbelly game of life and death slapped him upside the head like a brick.
The two men shared a glance, then looked away. He’d controlled his breathing. Controlled his expression. But he’d felt the flare of his nostrils. Coercion Ten had gone too far this time. There’d already been too many deaths in Macki’s family.
“Do you think it’s real?” Josh asked.
“All the signs point that direction. I’ve been trying to reach Mackenzie all day.” The corner of Drake’s right eye twitched. “All I get is her damn voice mail.”
“She’s probably just busy. You know, running a high class hotel isn’t all glamour and glitz.” Hearing the words come out of his own mouth didn’t make Josh feel any better.
Drake shot him an evil-eye look. “Don’t give me that bull. You and I both know this is damn serious.”
Josh had to agree. When someone was targeted by Coercion Ten, every hour, every minute, every second counted. He nodded.
“They’ll try to break me and OPAQUE by targeting her.” Drake paused. “We can’t let that happen.”
“You can count on me. What’s my assignment?”
His boss’s expression blanked, the look he always got when he was torn on which way to turn. Torn between going with his gut or over thinking the situation. Josh knew the look. Not only from Drake, but from himself as well.
Squaring his shoulders, Drake rose to his feet. “Bottom line, I need you to go to Riverfalls, Illinois and protect Mackenzie.”
“No.”
“Yes.”
“Get this straight, old man. There’s no way in hell I’m going back to my hometown.” For years Josh had accepted every assignment. Every duty. Every dirty job out there. All for OPAQUE. All to pay back the debt he felt he owed. But the old man had stepped over the line this time. “You don’t know what you’re asking me to do, sir.”

About Claudia Shelton

Award-winning author Claudia Shelton could write her name before the first day of school, but now she writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance, all with sexy alpha heroes and women strong enough to love them. She also presents workshops on everything from character development to networking to the ins-and-outs of being a new author.

Claudia’s debut novel, Risk of a Lifetime, released to 5-star reviews, reached Amazon’s Best Sellers Romance Series Top 100 and was named one of eBooks Galore top reads for 2014. She is also a two-time Daphne Du Maurier (Unpublished) finalist for excellence in mystery. Her new book, Slater’s Leverage, will be available November 2015.

Shelton is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), MORWA (Missouri RWA), Sisters in Crime, St. Louis Writers Guild, Missouri Writers’ Guild, and Saturday Writers.

For more information about Claudia and her books, visit http://www.claudiawriting.com

Connect with Claudia at: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Pinterest | Google+

Interview with Claudia Shelton

Claudia Shelton- SLHi Claudia, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Before we get started on the questions, can you tell us a bit about yourself.

On a personal note, I enjoy anything to do with boating, swimming, fishing, etc. And walking through the leaves in the fall, whether it be in the woods or just through the neighborhood, is a pure joy. Some of my favorite places to travel are: New York for the museums, Broadway shows and excitement; Washington, DC for the history and excitement; and any place with water for the sun, relaxation and excitement. Do you notice my tendency for excitement?

Slater’s Leverage is Romantic Suspense isn’t it, What draws you to this genre -do you write other genres?

I write alpha heroes and the women strong enough to love them, but since I can get easily bored I need to have a touch of suspense and adventure mixed into their stories. In fact, my books could be considered crossovers for suspense at times. I do have the beginning of a family saga, plus a couple of completed Contemporary Romance, also. Right now though, readers seem to like my romantic suspense voice.

You’ve self-published Slater’s Leverage, how has *writing and self-publishing* changed the way you read?

Whether working with my publisher or doing a self-pub, my TBR pile has always been varied in genres and publishing avenues. I like what I like in reading, but am open to a new voice, a new author, and sometimes even a new sub-genre.

Can you tell us about Slater’s Leverage, and what inspired you to write it?

Short version—Ultimately, what if your past had been a lie?

Long version—Slater’s Leverage is a fast paced, second chance, romantic suspense that ranges from the gritty, anything’s for sale, D Street atmosphere, to the luxurious penthouse in Hotel MacKenzie that the heroine owns. The story allows the reader to see that sometimes being willing to give up your own happiness for what’s best for another, can be the true meaning of love. Of course, coming back to protect the one you love with your life, is the ultimate for a happily ever after ending.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?

I start with an idea or a hero, and work from there. Yes, I have a brief floating outline to begin with, then about half way through, I plot out the remainder of the book. There are times I write the ending when I’m only a few chapters into the manuscript.

Can you tell us anything about any of your current work(s)-in-progress?

I have two books in the works. One is the second in the Risk series and will be Betsy’s story. And the other work in progress (in my plotting mind) is for the second in the OPAQUE Task Force series. You meet that book’s hero in Slater’s Leverage, but I’m not telling you which man he was. 

There’s also a future series in contract talks with a fantastic publisher, but I can’t expand on that at the moment.

When you consider your future, what would you like to make happen for you?

My main priority is family, friends and making time to enjoy life—travel, vacations, music, art, being outdoors and on and on and on. That is followed by my desire to keep writing. There are so many heroes nudging me to write their stories, and so many heroines looking for the right hero to love—my goal is to put them together in my books. Along the way, I’d love to become a NYT, and USA Today, Best Selling Author. Plus, I’m always happy to meet new readers and authors along the way.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

First, thanks so much for having me on your blog, Rainne.

Here’s a little about my writing and books, I began seriously writing (and learning the craft) about eight years ago. My debut novel, Risk of a Lifetime, released April 2014 to five star reviews, and I’m working on a second book in that Risk series which should be out in 2016. I’m very excited about my new romantic suspense and first book in the OPAQUE Task Force series—Slater’s Leverage—which releases November 10. I hope my readers are swept away by Josh and Mackenzie’s story, and are excited by the fast paced suspense. And, btw, I love my cover! How about you?

I love the cover, Claudia.
One last question before we go. Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

Audrey Hepburn – With everything to talk about from her great acting to her charity involvement to those fabulous sunglasses, I think it would make for a wonderful get-together over lunch.

Thank you for joining me, Claudia. Good luck with the release of Slater’s Leverage and your future releases.

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