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Julie Miller!

 

 May Book Giveaway!
Entry Deadline May 24th


APB: Baby by Julie Miller
 

Congratulations to Anita Seymour of Virginia! She won my April Book GiveAway Contest, and received a copy of one of my Precinct books. Like many of you, she knew that my hero, Niall Watson, was dressed in a tuxedo at the beginning of APB: BABY.

This month, I’m giving away a very special prize—a whole bagful of books in a “Kickass Cowboys, Cops and Kisses” bag, just like the ones we gave away to readers at the RT Booklovers Convention last month. Not only will you get one of my books, but titles and swag from other romantic suspense authors, as well.

To enter, read the new
excerpt from APB: BABY. Here’s a look at my May 24th release—the beginning of a brand new miniseries, The Precinct: Bachelors in Blue. What do you think of my brainy hero with glasses? Sexy, yes? To enter the giveaway, answer the question at the end of the excerpt and email me your answer, along with your contact information. My dog, Maggie, will put her nose to work and select a winner from among all the correct entries. Deadline to enter is May 24th.

 
 

Julie Miller Harlequin Books Contest Giveaway

 


 

 


 

 

   

Rules for Julie's Contests

  • One entry per person.
  • By entering, entrants grant permission for their name to be posted on the Julie Miller web site at www.juliemiller.org and in Julie's newsletter.
  • Winners will be chosen by random drawing from among all entries.
  • The odds of winning depend upon the number of participants.
  • Void where prohibited.


MEET JULIE!

May 21 - 22, 2016

Just Romantic Suspense Blog


July 13 - 16, 2016
 

Romance Writers of American Conference—San Diego, CA

June 2016

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RT Booklovers Convention, Las Vegas, NV, 2016

     

Harlequin author, Julie Miller

     

 

 

Julie in New York City at the 2015 RWA National Conference

Julie Miller RITA Finalist

Julie Miller at 2015 RWA Literacy Signing

 

Intrigue Authors Julie Miller and Delores Fossen at Harlequin Party, NYC 2015

The awesome sign made by Julie's roommates at the RWA 2015 Conference in NYC. Yes, I'm a RITA finalist!

Julie at the RWA Literacy Booksigning

 

Julie with fellow USA TODAY Bestselling Author Delores Fossen at the Harlequin VIP Party.

Author Julie Miller at Broadway production of WICKED

Author Julie Miller RITA Finalist

Author Julie Miller ready for 2015 RWA RITA Awards

Julie at the Broadway production of WICKED

Yes, I'm a RITA finalist!

Julie ready to attend the RITA Awards Ceremony

 


 

APPEARANCES

Julie Miller at the PRW 20th Anniversary

 
Julie's local writing group, the Prairieland Romance Writers, celebrates 20 years of excellence in romance fiction at an anniversary Open House in Grand Island, NE
 
Prairieland Romance Writers celebrates 20 years of excellence in romance fiction!

 

Author Julie Miller

Authors Scott and Julie Miller

Kearney, NE Booksigning, The Sequel Bookshop
Julie Miller, and Scott & Julie Miller

 

 

APB: Baby by Julie Miller

APB: BABY
Copyright ©2016 by Julie Miller
Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A.
(Excerpt)

 

 

“The man wasn’t following me,” Lucy chanted under her breath for the umpteenth time since parking her car downstairs. She stepped off the elevator into the shadowed hallway, trying to convince herself that the drunken ape who’d offered to rock her world down on Carmody Street wasn’t the driver of the silver sports car she’d spotted in her rearview mirror less than a block from her condominium building a few minutes earlier. “He wasn’t following me.”

Maybe if she hadn’t spotted a similar car veering in and out of the lane behind her on Highway 71, she wouldn’t be so paranoid. Maybe if her voice mail at work didn’t have a message from her ex-boyfriend Roger that was equal parts slime and threat and booze.

“Guess what, sweet thing. I’m out. And I’m coming to see you.”

Maybe if it wasn’t so late, maybe if she’d felt safe in that run-down part of Kansas City, maybe if she wasn’t so certain that something terrible had happened to Diana Kozlow, her former foster daughter, who’d called her out of the blue yesterday after more than a year of no contact—maybe if the twenty-year-old would answer her stupid phone any one of the dozen times Lucy had tried to call her back—she wouldn’t feel so helpless or alone or afraid.

Fortunately, the silver car had driven past when she’d turned in to the gated parking garage. But the paranoia and a serious need to wash the man’s grimy hands off her clothes and skin remained. “He was not following me.”

She glanced down at the blurred picture she’d snapped through her rear window the second time the silver roadster had passed a car and slipped into the lane behind her on 71. Her pulse pounded furiously in her ears as she slipped the finger of her glove between her teeth and pulled it off her right hand to try and enlarge the picture and get a better look at the driver or read a possible license plate. Useless. No way could she prove the Neanderthal or Roger or anyone else had followed her after leaving the rattrap apartment building on Carmody, which was the last address she had for Diana. Not that it had been a productive visit. The super had refused to speak to her, and the only resident who would answer her questions about Diana was an elderly woman who couldn’t remember a young brunette woman living in the building, and didn’t recognize her from the old high school photo Lucy had shown her. Ape man had been willing to tell her anything—in exchange for stepping into the alley with him for a free grope.

None of which boded well for the life Diana had forged for herself after aging out of the foster system and leaving Lucy’s home. Lucy swiped her finger across the cell screen to pull up the high school photo of the dark-haired beauty she’d thought would be family—or at least a close friend—forever. “Oh, sweetie, what have you gotten yourself into?” she muttered around the red wool clasped between her teeth.

She glanced back at the elevator door, remembered the key card required to get into the building lobby.

“Okay. The creeper didn’t follow me,” she stated with as much conviction as she could muster. “And I will find you, Diana.”

She was simply going to have to get a few hours’ sleep and think this through, and start her search again tomorrow. Except…

Lucy pulled up short when she reached the door to 8D. The late-night chill that had iced her skin seeped quickly through the layers of clothing she wore.

So much for feeling secure.

The wood around the locks on her apartment door was scratched and broken. The steel door itself drifted open with barely a touch of her hand. Lucy retreated half a step and pulled up the keypad on her phone to call the police. After two previous calls about Diana’s failure to show up for lunch or return her calls, they were probably going to think she was a nutcase to call a third time in fewer than twenty-four hours.

“Miss McKane? You and I need to talk.”

Lucy’s fear erupted in a startled yelp at the succinct announcement. She swung around with her elbow at the man’s deep voice behind her, instinctively protecting herself.

Instead of her elbow connecting with the man’s solar plexus, five long fingers clamped like a vise around her wrist and she was pushed up against the wall by a tall, lanky body. Her phone popped loose from her slippery grip and bounced across the carpet at her feet. Her heart thumped in her chest at the wall of heat trapping her there, and the loose glove she’d held between her teeth was caught between her heaving breasts and the broad expanse of a white tuxedo shirt. What the devil? Diana was missing, and she had no idea why her tall, lanky neighbor was glowering down at her through those Clark Kent glasses he wore.

“Wow,” she gasped, as the frissons of fear evaporated once she recognized him. No one else roamed the hallways this time of night except for him. She should have known better. “Sorry I took a swing at you, Dr. Watson.” She couldn’t even summon the giggly response she usually had when she said his name and conjured up thoughts of medical sidekicks and brainy British detectives. Not when she was embarrassingly aware of his hard runner’s body pressed against hers. Nothing to giggle about there. The full-body contact lasted another awkward moment. “I didn’t hurt you, did I?”

“Of course not.” Once he seemed certain she recognized him as a friend and didn’t have to defend himself, Niall Watson released his grip on her arm and stepped away, leaving a distinct chill in place of that surprising male heat that had pinned her to the wall. “I shouldn’t have startled you.”

“I thought you…were someone else.”

“Who? Were you expecting someone?”

“I, um…” She wasn’t about to explain her paranoid suspicions about ape man or Roger and the silver car, so she covered her rattled state by stooping down to retrieve her glove and phone. “Sorry if I woke you. I’ve had a break-in. I thought this was supposed to be a secure building in a safe neighborhood, but I guess there’s no place that’s truly safe if someone is determined to get to you. That’s probably why I swung first. A girl has to take care of herself, you know. I’d better call the police.”

Niall Watson’s long fingers reached her phone first. He scooped it up and tapped the screen clear. “A 911 call won’t be necessary.”

Frowning at his high-handedness, Lucy tilted her face up. “Why not?” She was halfway to making eye contact when she saw the crimson spots staining his rolled-up sleeve. She stuffed her loose glove into her pocket, along with her phone, and touched her fingertip to the red stains on the wrinkled white cotton clinging to his long, muscular forearm. There were more droplets of blood on the other sleeve, too. Irritation vanished and she piled concern for him onto the fears that had already worn her ragged today.

“Are you hurt? Did you stop the intruder?” She grasped his wrist in her hand, much the same way he’d manhandled her, and twisted it to find the wound. Despite the tempting awareness at his toasty-warm skin beneath her chilled fingers, she was more interested in learning what had happened. She knew he was affiliated with the police. Had he stepped in to prevent a burglar from ransacking her place? Had Roger followed his release from prison with a road trip to Kansas City? Had Diana shown up while she was searching the city for her? Now she looked up and met those narrowed cobalt eyes. “Have you already called for help? Do I need to take you to the hospital?”

A dark eyebrow arched above the rim of his glasses before he glanced down to see the source of her concern. Blinking away his apparent confusion, he pulled out of her grip to splay his fingers at his waist. “This isn’t my blood.”

“Then whose…?” His stance drew her attention to the holster strapped to his belt. Had she ever seen Niall Watson wearing a gun before? His badge, yes. But she’d never seen the erudite professional looking armed and dangerous the way he did tonight. Had he just come from a crime scene? “You wore a tuxedo to work?” Wait. Not his blood. That meant… A stone of dread plummeted into Lucy’s stomach. Was that Diana’s blood? “Oh, God.” Before he could say anything, she spun around and shoved open the door to her apartment. “Diana?” Niall Watson was a doctor. But he wasn’t hurt. That meant someone else was. “Diana? Are you here?”

She called out again for some sign that the young woman she’d been searching the city for all day and night had somehow shown up here.

The vise clamped over her wrist again and pulled her back to the door. “Miss McKane.”

“Let go of me.” She yanked her arm free and charged toward the mess on the couch. “Diana?” She paused a moment to sift through the pile of unraveling yarn and interrupted projects before snatching up the overturned basket and inspecting the insides. Lucy always kept a twenty or two hidden beneath her work. The only other person who knew where she stockpiled for a rainy day was Diana. “She was here. She took the cash,” she whispered, her sense of dread growing exponentially.

“So it was a robbery?”

She startled at the deep voice beside her. “What? No. I would gladly give her the money.”

“Give who the money?”

“Diana?” Lucy tossed the basket onto the couch and took off for the light in the kitchen.

But she hadn’t taken two steps before Niall Watson’s arm cinched around her waist and pulled her back against his chest. “Miss McKane. There’s nothing for you to see here. I need you to come with me.”

She gasped at the unexpected contact with a muscled torso and the surprising warmth that seemed to surround her instantly and seep through the layers of coat and clothing she wore. “Nothing? I have to…” For a split second, her fingers tightened their grip around the arm at her waist, needing his strength. She’d had a bad feeling all day. Diana Kozlow hadn’t shown up for a long-overdue lunch and gab session. And then that phone call…

If the answer was here—even one she didn’t want to be true—Lucy had to see for herself. With a renewed sense of urgency, she pushed the doctor’s arm and body heat away and turned. “You need to stop grabbing me, Doctor. I appreciate your concern, but I have to—”

She shoved at his chest, but he released her waist only to seize her by the shoulders. He squeezed enough to give her a little shake and hunched his face down to hers. “Lucy. If you would please listen.”

Lucy? Her struggles stilled as she assessed the stern expression stamped on his chiseled features. When had her taciturn neighbor ever addressed her as anything but a polite Miss McKane? That couldn’t be good. The tight grip on her upper arms and the piercing intensity of those blue eyes looking straight at her weren’t any kind of reassurance, either. She curled her fingers into the wrinkled cotton of his shirt and nodded, preparing herself for the news she didn’t want to hear. “What’s wrong? What’s happened? Did you see a young woman here? Is she…” Lucy swallowed hard. “Is she okay?”

He eased his grip and straightened, raking one hand through his short muss of espresso-colored hair as he inhaled a deep breath. But he kept the other hand on her arm as if he suspected she might bolt again. “If you would come with me.” He pulled her back into the hallway and closed the door to her condo behind them. “I need to ask you some questions.”

Now he wanted to talk? After all those friendly overtures she’d made to her seriously hunky and completely-oblivious- to-a-lady-dropping-a-hint neighbor, tonight of all nights was when he wanted to have a private conversation with her? Somehow she doubted that he’d finally clued in on the crush she had on him. Preparing herself for a worst-case scenario, Lucy planted her feet before blithely following him into his condo. “Just tell me. Did you find a dead body in there? You told me you were a medical examiner during one of our elevator rides together when I first moved in. That’s when I told you I was a social worker—that I’ve seen some pretty awful things, too. But my bodies weren’t dead like yours. Just damaged in one way or another.” Her mouth was rambling ahead of her brain. “I’m sorry. But you can tell me. Is this a crime scene? Is that why I can’t go in there?” She touched the blood on his sleeve again. Although it was dry, its presence was disturbing. “Is this Diana’s? Don’t feel you have to spare my feelings. I’ve been sick out of my mind with worry all day. I just need a straight answer about what’s happened. I can deal with anything—I’m good at that—as long as I know what I’m facing.”

“You can deal with anything?” He angled his head to the side and his eyes narrowed, as if her plaintive assertion baffled him. Then he shook his head. “There is no dead body,” he answered starkly. “I don’t know who Diana is. This blood is my grandfather’s. He was shot yesterday afternoon at my sister’s wedding.”

“Shot? Oh, my God.” Lucy’s fingers danced over the ticklish hair of his forearm, wanting to act on her instinct to touch, to comfort, to fix the hurts of the world. “Is he okay? I mean, clearly he isn’t. Getting shot is really bad. I’m sorry. Is he going to be all right?” His brusque answers explained the remnants of the James Bond getup, as well as the stains on what had once been a neatly ironed shirt. But what any of that had to do with the break-in or her or possibly Diana, she hadn’t a clue. Lucy curled her fingers around the strap of her shoulder bag and retreated a step. “You don’t need to worry about my problems. You should be with your family.”

“Miss McKane.” They were back to that now, hmm? “I’m sorry if the blood upset you—I haven’t had time to change since coming home from the hospital.” He scraped his palm over the dark stubble dotting his chin and jaw before sliding his fingers over his hair and literally scratching his head. “I can see I haven’t explained myself very well. Your sympathy is appreciated but misplaced. My grandfather’s condition is serious, but please, before you go off on another tangent, would you come inside? I do have a problem that concerns you specifically.” He glanced toward the end of the hallway. “And I don’t think we should have that conversation here.”

She remembered the retired couple down the hall and nodded. “The Logans. I suppose it would be rude to wake them at this hour.”

A man with a wounded grandfather, a gun and a badge, and an inexplicable sense of urgency could take precedence for a few minutes over her suspicions and the futile desperation that might even be unfounded. Lucy hadn’t talked to Diana Kozlow in months. Perhaps she’d read too much into the telephone message at the office this morning. She was probably chasing ghosts, thinking that Diana had really needed her. Roger Campbell hadn’t needed her for anything more than sex and a punching board. The only reason her own mother had needed her was to ensure her own meal ticket. How many times did she have to repeat that codependent mistake?

Inhaling a deep breath, Lucy pulled off her left glove and cap and stuffed them into her pockets, too, as Niall opened the door for her to precede him. “So what concerns me specifically besides a busted front door…” She tried to smooth her staticky curls behind her ears. “Oh, hello.”

At this late hour, she was surprised to see another man—a stockier version of Niall Watson, with a peppering of silver in his short dark hair—rising stiffly from a recliner as she stepped into the living room.

She extended her hand because she was that kind of friendly. “I’m Lucy McKane from across the hall. Sorry to visit so late, but Dr. Watson invited me…” The older man angled his body to face her, and she saw the blanket with tiny green and yellow animals draped over his arm. “You have a baby.”

“Can’t put anything past you,” the tall man teased in a hushed voice, in deference to the tiny infant sleeping contentedly against his chest. “Thomas Watson.” He easily cradled the child in one arm to shake her hand. “I raised three boys and a girl of my own, so I’ve had some practice. I’m Niall’s father.”

“I could tell by the family resemblance. Nice to meet you. You seem to be a natural.” Lucy stepped closer to tuck the loose blanket back around the tiny child’s head. The newborn’s scent was a heady mix of gentle soap and something slightly more medicinal. A tightly guarded longing stirred inside her and she wanted to brush aside the wisp of dark brown hair that fell across the infant’s forehead. She wisely curled her fingers into her palm and smiled instead. “And this is…?”

Niall’s crisp voice sounded behind her. “I was hoping you could tell us.”

 

Question: What is the first name of Niall’s father?

 

 

 

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