Protecting those in trouble is what Army Ranger Garrett Harding does best.
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RESCUED BY THE RANGER
RESCUED BY THE RANGER
Dixie Lee Brown
Releasing on Sept 8th, 2015
The only thing Rachel Maguire wants is to send this smart-mouthed, muscled military man packing. She knows Garrett has his own reasons for staying, so when he offers Rachel a deal—two days to prove his worth or he leaves—she reluctantly agrees. Despite wanting to loathe him, Rachel finds herself drawn to his quiet confidence…and the way he fills out a t-shirt.
But when Rachel receives a phone call from the past, everything changes. The stalker who destroyed her life ten years ago is closing in once more. Refusing to put anyone else in harm's way, Rachel hits the road hoping to lure danger away from those she loves. But Garrett won't leave this sexy spitfire to face her stalker alone. He'll do anything to protect her. Even if it means risking his life—and his heart.
Thanks so much for having me here today and for including my new release, RESCUED BY THE RANGER on your blog. Shall we go right into the interview questions?
1) Explain how some of your opinions/views have changed since you began your writing career.
Has anyone ever read a great book and said: I can do that—I can be a writer? I’m guilty! And eventually I did become a writer…but here’s what I learned along the way. It’s not as easy as those great authors I was reading made it look. It’s not enough to have a good story idea, and it’s not just putting words down on a computer screen. I had no idea what 80,000 to 100,000 words looked like or how many hours of sweat and tears it would take to get them all recorded. Learning the craft of writing was a whole new education. Meeting industry standards for the romance genre turned out to be a moving target.
I’ve learned that after finishing the first draft, the real work starts. Editing—after the second or third time through my manuscript, I realized I was no longer capable of spotting plot holes or places where more information was required to make a scene understandable. I needed help—but not just any help. People who understand all of the above. As a result, I’ve met some of the best folks on the planet—other authors.
My original assessment of writing has done a one-eighty. Being an author is not easy. Not everyone can sit down and hammer out a full-length novel. Even fewer are able to write best-sellers, and no one writes a perfect book.
2) Are you a pantzer, plotter, or hybrid?
I am a complete and total pantzer! Before I start writing, I plan the next scene in my head and do any necessary research. Sometimes I’ll get an idea for a plot twist for the second half or the end of the book and I’ll jot that down in a quick note that I may or may not understand when I dig it out again. Ironically, I really think plotters have the right idea. I tried their way once and, for me, it was a dismal failure, so it looks like I’m stuck with being a pantzer!
3) Tell us about your current release.
I’m so proud of this book! RESCUED BY THE RANGER is the story of a wounded Army Ranger who comes home to convalesce. He discovers that the mother who deserted him and his brother when they were little has passed away and left them something in her will. Curious, Garrett loads up his ex-military dog, a German shepherd named Cowboy, and drives non-stop to the mountainous wilderness of Idaho.
The first person he encounters is being held against her will in a bar. Garrett helps her toss out the miscreants responsible only to find out that Rachel is more than unappreciative—she hates his guts for some reason that’s currently unknown to him. An eternal optimist, he makes her a deal: If he can’t prove to her in two days that he’s not the lowlife she apparently thinks he is, he’ll get back in his Jeep and go home.
Rachel snaps up the deal, knowing it will be the quickest way to get rid of him…until her dangerous past comes knocking and she has to change her plans.
4) Who has been the biggest influence in your writing career and how?
I’m represented by the Blue Ridge Literary Agency. My agent, Dawn Dowdle, creates an environment where her group of authors is more like family, willing to do just about anything to help a fellow agency author. Ask a grammar question. Find a critique partner. They’re the most amazing people and, truthfully, I couldn’t ask for a better influence than them.
5) When beginning a new series, do you prefer to stay in relative distance of your comfort zone or hurl yourself into the unknown and research?
It’s always good to learn new things, whether you’re writing or merely living. There are some research topics I’d probably stay away from. Researching a historical romance for example, although I love reading them. I enjoyed the hands-on research for my Trust No One series that finished up earlier this year. It was romantic suspense so I got to hang out on a high ropes course for several hours, shot rifles, shotguns, and handguns, and learned some basics of self-defense. Now that’s research I can get behind!
6) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I was surprised by how attached I became to my characters. Especially heroes and sometimes secondary characters popped off the page and demanded their own story in the series. When the series ended, I was kind of lost for a while! Of course, the obvious cure is to start on something new.
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The second he pushed one of the swinging doors open and stepped onto the rough plank floor, the skin at the back of his neck began to crawl. He stopped as every muscle in his body tensed, and he slowly removed his dark glasses to give his eyes a chance to adjust to the dim interior. At first glance, the place appeared empty. His gaze leisurely swept the tables to his left, searched the length of the bar—made from a monstrous piece of old-growth pine—and stopped when he zeroed in on a man, a punk really, and a woman sitting at a table to the right of the burnished log. Apart from them, the Cougar Ridge Watering Hole was deserted.
He kept one eye on the couple as he stepped purposefully toward the bar. His gut had twisted into a massive knot, a sure sign something wasn’t right.
The male was a good-sized kid, no more than nineteen or twenty. Long, dirty hair slapped against his collar as his gaze followed Garrett farther into the room. The woman’s shoulder-length red hair framed an attractive face, and bangs, in slight disarray, slanted across her forehead. She sat ramrod straight in her chair, and a glimpse of amazing green eyes grabbed Garrett’s attention when she glanced his way before turning her watchful gaze back to her companion.
The kid gripped one of the woman’s hands, pinning her to the table in an awkward position. They were so clearly not just a boy and girl holding hands. Garrett would lay odds that the pretty redhead couldn’t bear the man’s touch.
So, what was their story? A lover’s spat? He doubted that. A domestic dispute? Something more sinister? Goddammit. Why did he have to walk into the middle of it?
“Bartender around?” Garrett leaned one elbow against the bar and glanced over his shoulder.
“Yes.” The woman was quick to reply and would have jumped to her feet if the jerk beside her hadn’t twisted her arm, forcing her to remain in her chair. A grimace of pain flickered momentarily across her features.
“No,” the guy growled. “There’s no one here but me and Rachel, so you might wanna be goin’.”
DIXIE LEE BROWN lives and writes in Central Oregon, inspired by what she believes is the most gorgeous scenery anywhere. She resides with two dogs and a cat, who make sure she never takes herself too seriously. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, movies, and trips to the beach.