Welcome Guest Author Alison Henderson

Unwritte Rules CoverIt’s my great pleasure today to welcome my friend, Alison Henderson, to the blog. Here’s Alison:

As a child of the ‘sixties I grew up loving spies. Spies were dashing, dangerous, and swoon-worthy. I was too young to see the earliest James Bond films when they came out, but I vividly remember going to the mall with a friend to try to see Thunderball. Sadly, it was sold out, but just making the attempt was forbidden and exciting. So I guess it’s no surprise that the hero of my latest romantic suspense Unwritten Rules is a former spy.

When the book opens, Carter Devlin has retired from the CIA. But since someone is trying to kill him and people from his past appear throughout the story, I wanted to include enough realistic detail to support the suspense. Like most people, my knowledge of spying is limited to what I’ve seen on the big screen. Imagine my delight when a business trip offered the opportunity to learn all about spies, up close and personal!

While I was working on Unwritten Rules, I took a 3-day trip to Baltimore for a conference at a company known for putting on fascinating after-hours field trips. In past years they’d taken participants to a play at the Kennedy Center, behind-the-scenes tours of the Smithsonian, and other special treats. This year they offered a guided tour of the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. I was the first one on the bus!

The museum is as intriguing as its subject matter. Exhibits take the visitor through the history of spying with special emphasis on the evolution of spy technology, including examples of real spy gadgets from the early twentieth century through today. They also have interactive experiences that help teach you to think and react like a spy. The last stop is the museum store – a fantastic place! I couldn’t resist buying a copy of The International Spy Museum Handbook of Practical Spying, just what I needed to give my characters the proper verisimilitude.

The Handbook of Practical Spying offers tips on such things as how to do simple encoding to remember names and addresses, how to spot surveillance cameras, and how to adopt a successful cover—all things we, or our fictitious spies, might need to do every day. I didn’t use many of the tips in my book, but I sure had fun getting in the mood.

Here’s a peek at the resulting story:

Things aren’t going Madelyn Li’s way. Her bodyguard agency is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, her grandmother keeps hatching plots to marry her off, and someone is trying to kill her latest client. All she wants is to safely escort thriller writer and former CIA agent Carter Devlin on his cross country book tour and collect her check, but two obstacles stand in her way: a shadowy assailant and her own growing attraction to her dashing client.

Carter Devlin has agreed to accept the beautiful and determined Ms. Li as a bodyguard primarily to appease his publisher. After all, who would want to kill a beat-up, retired ex-spy on a book tour? But when the attacks turn deadly, he soon learns there’s more to Madelyn than a pretty face and tempting body. Will the spark become a flame before a killer snuffs it out?

Unwritten Rules is available at: http://amzn.to/1cl6jDA

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Alison Henderson



Drumroll Please: Cover Reveal – Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies

The second book in the Secrets & Spies series will be making its debut next week…I’m impatient, so I couldn’t wait that long to share the gorgeous cover. I just love it! Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little LIes

So beautiful! Share your thoughts about the cover, and you might win the first book in the Secrets & Spies series, Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies. One lucky commenter will win a Kindle copy of the book. Already have Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies? No problem – if your name is chosen, you’ll be one of the very first to receive a digital copy of Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies when it takes its bow in the very near future.

Here’s a little about Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies:

Sometimes, even a spy needs a hero.

Like any good secret agent, Amanda Emerson knows how to get what she wants—in this case, a man with guts and a gun—a man heroic enough to break a notorious double agent out of a Confederate prison. But first, she’ll have to save her hero’s own neck.

Caught with Rebel plans and set for a hanging, Union spy Steve Dunham’s luck has run out—until a cunning beauty shows up at the jail and engineers his escape. Of course, she’s there for a reason besides preventing him from dangling at the end of a noose—he’s the key to her daring scheme.

Steve may be trading one execution for another, but the tempting—and off limits—operative draws him into the perilous mission. Falling for Amanda is a complication he can’t afford, but Steve’s never been one to play it safe. The spoils of victory will be Amanda’s surrender. And the terms of surrender promise to be sultry and sweet.

Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies will be available soon! Look for details later this week.

My November “Book Baby”

I’m a November baby, so it seems only fitting that my historical romance, Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies has a November book birthday as well. Here’s a little about the story:

Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little LiesSecrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies

A heart’s destiny cannot be denied when a daring Union spy abducts a beautiful runaway bride he suspects of being a traitor.

Emma Davenport was a model senator’s daughter: prim, proper, but hell-bent on escaping the dreaded fate of spinsterhood that awaited her under wartime Washington’s all-too watchful eye. She was going to be a bride, and no one was going to stop her. Not even the daring renegade who steals her from a train transporting her to a forbidden marriage. Her heart tells her this mysterious captor is a dangerous man, but the undeniable attraction he wields is a more potent threat than any weapon.

Major Cole Travis is a highly trained secret agent, as skilled with deception as he is with a gun. Keeping a beautiful traitor from her rendezvous with a treacherous scoundrel shouldn’t be a challenge for the battle-seasoned spy—but he’s not the only one after his tempting prisoner. Emma Davenport must be kept out of enemy hands at all costs. Drawn to this woman whose innocent allure may be just another weapon in her arsenal, Cole risks his neck to shield her. Soon, however, protecting her from his own heart’s desire becomes another story entirely.

You can find Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies on Kindle. Prefer a paperback? The story will be out in paperback soon.