Today we have with us one of the best romantic suspense authors out there! Her Bodyguard and Black Ops Inc series have gotten rave reviews everywhere and we can’t wait to read more from her. Now we get to know her a bit better. 😉

Welcome to Under the Covers, as you probably already know we are fans of your work and are very excited to have you here today!
Thanks Francesca. I really appreciate that and your invitation to chat today.

You have a brand new series called the One-Eyed Jacks, which is a spin off from the BOI series. Can you tell us a bit about this new series?

It’s always difficult to say good bye to a group of characters in a series. I fond it a huge problem when I was wrapping up the Body Guard series. Luckily, Gabriel – the Archangel – Jones showed up along with a couple of his buddies in the last BG book and showed me the path to a brand new series – Black Ops Inc. That same lucky accident happened while I was writing the 2nd to the last book of the BOI series. The BOI’s needed an extra pilot and called on their old buddy Mike – Primetime – Brown to help them out of a jam. The same thing happened with Mike as happened with Gabe. He was just larger than life and I knew I needed to tell his story – and of course add some buddies to the mix. So, here’s the down and dirty on One-Eyed-Jacks:

The One Eyed Jacks (a multi-branch military task force formed in 2002 and disbanded in 2005) got their nick name because of the uniqueness of their experimental unit, their tight camaraderie, their slightly reckless reputation, their favorite downtime/pastime of high stakes poker and because each of them made a pact to always carry a One Eyed Jack playing card (either a Jack of hearts or a Jack of spades) as their lucky charm and a sign of unity.

Today, only three men of the original detail are still alive – Mike – Primetime – Brown, Bobby – Boom Boom -Taggart, Jamie – Hondo – Cooper. On their last mission in Afghanistan, all three were dealt a losing hand and now share one common bond: The military that they proudly served cut them loose eight years ago with a ‘less than honorable’ discharge when their team led a covert operation that went south and the powers that be laid the blame squarely on their shoulders. To the dismay of the prosecutors of the Navy, Army, and Marines military tribunals, the most serious of charges could not be proven, which negated the possibility of court martial and prison but still ended in their separation from the service.

Now Brown, Taggart and Cooper lead separate lives in separate countries, have all dropped out of ‘normal society’ and not only live with the lie that led to their military separation but with the weight of the deaths of both their task force team members and several innocent civilians haunting them.

For these three men, life is now all about getting by, about forgetting the past, dealing with the anger and coping with the hand they’ve been dealt. None of them intend to break the status quo – until a mysterious woman confronts and forces Brown to ask questions about what really happened in Afghanistan and how those events played into a current national security threat. She dangles bait Brown can’t resist – the means to clear his name, deliver justice and expose the master mind behind the death of his teammates and his own downfall.

Only nothing is ever as simple as it seems. It’s going to take the help of Taggart and Cooper to bring down the men who set them up. The three wronged men with three strong-willed women by their sides, set out on their quests to write several wrongs, finally find peace, justice and the women who can complete their lives.

Readers met Mike Brown in the last book, LAST MAN STANDING. What would you say is Brown’s greatest strength? What is his greatest weakness?
Brown’s greatest strength is his moral compass and his sense of humor. His biggest weakness is his inability to deal with a past that haunts him which in turn led him to a struggle with alcoholism and disenfranchisement with life in general. Of course, no one would know because he hides all the pain behind his ridiculous sense of humor.

How many books do you have planned in this new series?
At this time, there are plans for three books – KILLING TIME, RUNNING BLIND, and TAKING FIRE, but then, I was only going to write 3 Bodyguard and 3 Black Ops Inc books :o) so you never know.

What does your writing space look like? Is it clean or messy? Any visual would be nice.
My space is fairly tidy – unless I’m on deadline crunch and then all bets are off. Here’s a link to some photos My hubby planted a flower garden for me so I can see it out my window. It’s gorgeous right now. I’m also going to be adding a 75 gallon fresh water aquarium to my office space soon. I can’t wait!

I love my office space but sometimes, when the weather is nice, I’ll snag my laptop and write on the screen porch just for a change of pace. Notice my writing pals, Buddy (yellow cat) and Sly (black) snoozing on their favorite chair.

If we were unforgivably rude and took a peek inside your purse, what items would we find there?
Oh, Lord, You don’t want to know. It’s a mess. Let’s see, make up case, car keys, book marks (don’t leave home without ‘em LOL), tums, wallet, tissue, sunglasses, phone, old grocery list, several receipts, mini flashlight, photos of grandkids … fuzz and lint :o)

What are three essential items you require in order to write?
A solid block of time, a warm up with a game or two of spider solitaire and or scrabble, soft music playing in the background.

What’s the best part of being a romantic suspense author?
Oh, the fans and my writer buddies. I love the inter action – just wish I wasn’t such a slow writer so I could spend more time on FB and Twitter but I need to keep my nose to the grindstone or I’d never get a book finished.

How do you balance the suspense and the romance aspects in your books to make the perfect combination?
Well, I’m not sure I always hit the perfect combo but thanks. It is a balancing act. A good, intricate exciting plot is essential to me. Sometimes I have to sit back and remind myself that even more essential is the relationship. So I always keep what happening with my H/H in mind on several levels. The action should move the relationship and visa versa. I like to think that when I look back, I’ve dovetailed the two elements but it does take a lot of thinking and reworking and rewriting to make it happen. Wish I could tell you it was some magic formula but it’s not. It’s just a lot of planning and adjusting.

You’ve done some incredible research and met real-life heroes and heroines. What would you say has been the best experience you’ve had as you researched for one of your books?
Oh, there are so many wonderful experiences. Of course, my opportunities to meet and work with so many of our military is at the front of the list. But, my experiences zip lining, white water rafting, jumping off a cliff, shooting most of the weapons I reference in my books – the list goes on. And I hope it will keep growing.

Thank you so much for taking the time to chatting with us for a bit.

Again, I’m thrilled to be here. I’m just off a deadline – literally turned in KILLING TIME, book 1 of the One-Eyed Jacks series on June 1st. Primetime was a challenge – a fun one – and his heroine is the perfect match. That book will be out in February, 2013, but I’ve got some other projects that will be out and available between now and then.

Available right now, LOVE IS MURDER – a short story collection featuring some of the hottest suspense authors writing today (Allison Brennan, Lee Child, Heather Graham, MOI :o) and many more) was just released this last week. My story, DYING TO SCORE ,is an action packed BOI short story featuring Johnny and Tink. Amazon Link

I’m really excited about this next news. This August will see the reissue of some of my classic romances that were published several years ago and have been out of circulation for a while. WORTH DYING FOR is a 2 for the price of 1 volume and will originally be available in e-book format August 7, 2012. I can’t wait for those two books to become available. The stories are not what I write now, but they still have the same fun, engaging characters and some light suspense that I think RS readers will appreciate.

I’d love to hear what readers are looking for in a great Romantic Suspense read. And some one who comments will receive an autographed book of their choice from my Body Guard or Black Ops Inc. series. (Be sure to leave your email so we can contact you)

Thanks for stopping by and please check out my website or my Facebook Fan Page to catch up on my latest news.

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  1. The thing I looking for in romantic-suspense is not being able to guess everything. I love being surprised and constantly trying to figure out what’s going on. I also love to see the characters involved in a lot of conflict ( especially if one character is hurt and it makes the other character wake up and realize their feelings).


  2. The thing I look for in suspense portion is an interesting plot that gets you into the story and a not so obvious villain or villains. As for the romance portion, the chemistry between the 2 persons must be felt. If it’s a series, there should be some growth as they move on in their relationship.

    cutiephinphin (at) hotmail (dot) com

    P.S Deleted the earlier comment as I forgot to include my email add.

  3. Love your books Cindy, I think in romantic suspense the thing I like the best is the conflict between the hero and heroine until they realize they’re “it” for each other. Also how the team closes ranks, comes together, and takes out the bad guys with some spectacular firepower.

    [email protected]

  4. Cindy I love your Black Ops books. Thats how I found you. Someone recommended this series and and I was hooked..
    What I like in a Romantic Suspense is that the book has to grab me right from the beginning. That open scene has to set the tone for the story between the Hero and H eroine.. Your do that in spades..
    Can’t wait for this new series to come out. I already love Mike “Primetime” Brown…

  5. I think in romantic suspense I look for a mix of danger that’s not too creepy (hard to do if there’s a serial killer, lol) and sexual tension that’s believable. I’m not a big fan of the “we’re in danger so let’s have sex” scene! I definitely like the uber-Alpha males in RS, though!


  6. I attended the Reader & Author convention this past weekend and many readers wanted Sue Grimshaw to know that they want more romantic suspense. I heard Cindy Gerard’s name as a recommendation so I am so pleased to see you have an interview and contest to win a book. Cool!
    Fingers Crossed!

    another_look_book_reviews at hotmail dot ca

  7. For me to really get involved in a romantic-suspense. The romance has to have great chemistry and challenges, but still be realistic. The suspense needs to continue through the book, but I like an ending– not left guessing at the end.

  8. I like it when the heroine & hero work together to get thru whatever the problem is that they have encountered.
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

  9. I look for a story where the suspense is believable and the hero and heroine spend as much time romancing each other as they do solving the problems they encounter.

    felinewyvern at googlemail dot com

  10. Thanks for a fun interview and giveaway! I have had Cindy’s books on the top of my wishlist 😉

    I love Romantic suspense b/c of the danger and mystery. It seems like the romance is deeper too and not as superficial cuz they are usually fighting for their lives.

  11. I am looking forward to the series. I have only read the Black Ops and look forward to more of your books. Romantic suspense is one of my favorite genres and I am finding so many more greatly books to read.

  12. Hi

    Great interview. I love your series.

    I look for a lot of action, much romance (tension is good) and an alpha hero. If he was a little tortured that would be OK. The heroine could also have a tortured past…always great when they find the one that can heal them.

    Thanks for the chance
    [email protected]

  13. I like a great story with mystery and suspense. Maybe some foreshadowing of who the bad guys are but no giveaways. I like stories that are unique. I loved the Black Ops, looking forward to the One Eyed Jack series.

    [email protected]

  14. I’m so happy we’ll get a chance to read your older releases. I look for a balance between the action/suspense and the romance. Sometimes the romance part seems rushed and there’s no real connection between the characters.

    janie1215 AT excite DOT com

  15. Hey all. Sorry I was quiet today. I got called away – no emergency just some unexpected business to take care of.
    anyway, great to hear from all of you. Love what you have to say. Love that you’re loving my books :o)
    keep the comments coming

  16. I adore Cindy:) Fabulous writter..and person.
    …answering your question, I love when I see the pieces fitting together, but get an unexpected twist:) I like to be kept on edge! I love when characters bantor with one another…Johnny Reed and their chemistry! when there’s some element of breaks it up! But, I also like my heart strings to get pulled..
    Not asking for much am I?!?!
    [email protected]

  17. I love reading romantic suspense novels and am always scopting out new books and authors to read! I enjoy reading this genre because it has duel exctiment…the suspense and the romance. Keeps a reader on her toes and I LOVE analyzing and trying to figure out who-dun-it..if it’s a mystery.

    books4me67 at ymail dot com

  18. I want bad guys and situations that aren’t so bizarre and huge that they become totally unbelievable. A little reality, please! jepebATverizonDOTnet

  19. I love suspense, and surprise. I don’t always want to know what is going, on but just enough to hook me and keep me interested. I also need dialogue, I need interaction, I hate it when the whole chapter is thoughts, I want opportunity for something, I need interaction…

  20. First… I love that you have bookmarks in your purse. I never have one around when I need one. LOL

    I like the action that brings together the characters in intense circumstances. FUN!

    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (Dot) com

  21. I’m looking for mystery. I love trying to figure out who did what and why. I like to see secondary characters involved, conflict between the hero and heroine all wrapped up in a nice love story.


  22. A believable and explosive(pun intended) plot, interesting characters and exotic places; the last one isn’t a must but it sure helps.

    Thank you for the giveaway and the great interview!


  23. I love the mix between romance and suspense. I love romance books but when there is suspense it’s also interesting because there are a lot of actions and we want to know what will happen between the main characters and what will happen in the end.

    Thank you very much for this giveaway 🙂

    [email protected]

  24. I love the Romantic Suspense genre! Chemistry between the two people is very important, and I like there to be some conflict between them – don’t make it too easy for them to get together! I like the romance to be secondary to the plot, which has to sustain my interest. I like a few twists thrown in for good measure!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

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