9:22 AM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest

Beth Cornelison

Contest: I'll sponsor a contest good for a book from my back list (meaning any other than UNDER FIRE or TALL DARK DEFENDER) with the winner pick from those that post a comment during the week. Make sure to leave your email address so I can contact you. I'll draw the winner on Wednesday June 17th.

AL: Hi Beth! Thanks for being in the “Author Spotlight” this week.
Beth: Thanks! I’m glad to be here!

AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.

Beth: Oh, just the usual insanity that goes along with summer vacations, having a teenaged son and multiple pets at home and deadlines to meet! LOL. Who knew teaching your kid to drive could be so…scary!?

AL: What current or upcoming releases do you have for us to sink our teeth into?

Beth: Well, first is my romantic suspense from Samhain called UNDER FIRE. This one is a thrill ride featuring smokejumpers, kidnappings, terrorist plots, chemical bombs…you name it. I loved writing that book! It is non-stop action—my favorite kind of scene to write!

Then new this month is my current release from Silhouette Romantic Suspense about an ex-cop investigating a gambling ring and money laundering. When one of the waitresses is unwittingly caught up in the danger of his investigation, he vows to protect her at all costs… so of course the title is TALL DARK DEFENDER.

AL: Dark, heroic defenders, oh my... J What got you hooked on weaving such dramatic-action packed tales?

Beth: I write the kind of stories I love to read. I’ve always been a fan of intrigue, action and suspense (in my books—hate it in my personal life!) My favorite authors from way back are Karen Robards, Sandra Brown, Suzanne Brockmann, Linda Howard… all masters of suspense and drama.

AL: What do you like best about writing? What is your least favorite thing?

Beth: I love working from home…in my pajamas! I love the freedom of setting my own schedule, being my own boss, not having to report to an office. The downside is I have infinitely more distractions at home…the laundry that needs to be washed, the bills to be paid, the teenaged son who can’t wait until I finish a scene to ask his all-important questions…”When’s dinner, Mom?”

AL: Who are some of your favorite authors?

Beth: Well, I’ve already mentioned Karen Robards, Sandra Brown, Suzanne Brockmann, Linda Howard. More recently I’ve added Harlan Coben to that list. I love Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Susan Wiggs too. Oh, and Diana Duncan, and Loreth Anne White, and CJ Lyons, and… how long do you have? There are so many!

AL: Now it’s time to get personal! J Sometimes people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. I like to set them straight, so tell us what’s the most unglamorous thing you’ve done in the past week?

Beth: LOL! Just one? Let’s see…scoop the litter box? Clean up cat barf from the carpet? Fix the stopped up toilet? Scrub the stuck on goo from the frying pan when dinner burned? There are so many! I’m the queen of unglamor!

AL: Do you have a favorite sport, &/or team that you follow?

Beth: Actually yes! I’m a bit of a sports buff…more than most women I know. I love college football and our family is eclectic in the teams we root for. The U. of Missouri is a sentimental favorite for me since I grew up in Columbia. My hubby roots for Alabama and Georgia Tech. Our hometown team is the University of Louisiana Monroe. Professionally, I like the Atlanta Braves for baseball (family and my roots post childhood are all in Georgia). The New Orleans Saints for Pro Football (and the Falcons). And our local high school football team has gone to state almost every year we’ve lived in Louisiana… And now my son attends the high school so I pull hard for the West Monroe Rebels in any sport! I could go on but I’d probably bore you! LOL

AL: You’re the heroine of your book, why do you fall in love with the hero?

Beth: Ah, what’s not to like? In TALL DARK DEFENDER, Jonah is kind and protective, thoughtful and good with the heroine’s kids. He’s rough around the edges but has a sexy lure that can’t be beat.

In UNDER FIRE, Jackson is brilliant and determined. A loving father and also handsome as sin. He’s deep and thoughtful and intriguing.

Now in real life I love a good sense of humor too. I’ve written heroes in the past with more humor than these two, but that’s not to say they don’t appreciate humor when their lives aren’t on the line!

AL: When you have time just for you (if only) what do you do?

Beth: Read, of course… and watch movies, lay around on the sofa and enjoy the company of my husband. I jog some out of necessity…I love ice cream a lot! I love traveling with my family to the beach, the mountains, wherever! I love to eat at new restaurants too. (Again the need to jog later…)

AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.

Beth: On my website, I have this one: Go confidently in the direction of your dreams; live the life you’ve imagined. - Thoreau

My son has this on his bulletin board: “ It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. -Theodore Roosevelt

AL: Thanks so much for sharing with joining us this week, Beth.

Beth: You’re most welcome and thanks for the opportunity to share a bit about myself and my books!

AL: If you’d like to find out more about Beth please visit:


When Jackson McKay and his daughter are kidnapped, their captors demand his research files on a devastating chemical weapon—or they'll kill his little girl. Jackson searches desperately for a way to save his daughter and also protect his country from the terrorists. No risk is too great. His daring escape sets in motion a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Arriving at the scene of a wildfire, smokejumper Lauren Michaels and her crew are caught in the crosshairs of Jackson's nightmare. Lauren is the only one who can lead Jackson off the burning mountain and to the police. In order to prevent a national crisis and save a child's life, they embark on a treacherous journey—one step ahead of a sniper!
But more than their lives are at risk, because an unexpected heat flares between them that may cost them their hearts...
Lauren Michaels careened toward the earth at ninety miles an hour. Freefalling. Spinning. Below her, the landscape twirled and tilted in a disorienting brown and green blur. She had no more than twenty seconds to live if she screwed up now.

Jump thousand.
Adrenaline buzzed through her veins. Acid bit her gut.

Despite the strap squeezing her chest, she dragged in a lungful of thin, smoke-tinged air. Think. Stay focused.

Look thousand.

Waves of heat rolled up to greet her from the conflagration below. Thirty-foot flames reached skyward from the head of the fire like wicked, writhing hands waiting to snatch her from the air. The whip of wind streaming past roared in her ears.

The eighty-five pounds of dead weight strapped to her body pulled her toward the flaming trees. She forced training to the forefront.

Reach thousand.

Lauren grabbed the green ring near her left shoulder with her right hand.

Wait thousand.

Anticipation danced along every synapse.


With a firm yank, she drew her arm across her chest and flung it outward. A hard jerk at her shoulders snapped her upright. Lauren squeezed her eyes shut. Prayed.

Looking up, she watched the billow of white and orange splay overhead. Thank God.

The team was fanatical about checking chutes, but the off chance existed…

She craned her head until she spotted Boomer, her jump partner, drifting along to her left. Below them, she located the first stick of jumpers. Riley’s and Birdman’s rectangular canopies drifted smoothly toward earth. As Lauren sailed down, she scanned the ground for the tiny clearing that was her target.

“Over there! Top of that ridge!” Boomer shouted in the loud, deep voice that was the source of his nickname.

Lauren gave him a thumbs up. Jump spot in sight.

God, she loved her job!

Suddenly her view of the burning forest began turning dizzily. Something was wrong.

Lauren tugged on her left toggle to correct her spin. Once stabilized, she cocked her head back to check her chute again.

Dread slammed her stomach. A suspension cord had wrapped around the corner of her canopy and hung up. A tension knot.

“Damn it!” She grabbed the suspension line with both hands and jerked hard, working to free it. No luck. Another tug.

She started spiraling again and had to release the tangled line in order to pull her toggle. But she continued twirling, losing precious seconds.

“Mike! Cut away!” Boomer shouted.

Still whirling like a human fire devil as the earth rushed toward her, Lauren gave up her toggles and yanked again on the hung line. “Come on, you sorry sonofa—!”

“Mike!” She heard an uncharacteristic note of panic in Boomer’s voice.

Lauren knew she had to be close to five hundred feet. The point of no return. Cut away or face death. Below five hundred feet, the reserve chute wouldn’t have time to deploy for a safe landing speed. Not to mention how far she’d, no doubt, drifted off course.

One more hard tug. Nothing.

With the dense and unforgiving treetops getting closer by the second, she had no choice. She jerked the cutaway clutch. Again the tug of a canopy filling jerked her harness, this time from her chest.

“Shit, woman! You ’bout gave me a heart attack!” Boomer yelled.

“Piece of cake!”

Boomer laughed. “You’re a wild woman, Mike!”

She allowed herself a quick cleansing breath then started her checks. Canopy. Airspace. Toggles.

The jump spot was too far to the left now, and the treetops too close to clear. Damn. So much for her perfect record.

As she dropped into the forest, sharp branches jabbed at her and snagged her canopy. A veil of dark green pine boughs obscured her view. She heard the snap and tear as her canopy settled in the branches of a black spruce, suspending her forty feet in the air. She groaned. Boomer was sure to give her hell about this.

Her two-way radio sputtered, and from the plane, their spotter called. “Jump 49, Michaels. You okay?”

She fumbled for her radio and put it to her lips. “I’m in a frigging tree, but I’m okay. I’ll let you know when I’m on the ground.”

“How’s the view from up there, Mike?” Boomer said over the radio.

“Bite me, Boom,” she radioed back.

Even without the radio, she could hear Boomer’s answering hoot of laughter. She grinned and shook her head as she secured her radio and assessed her situation.

Checking her risers, she discovered her plight wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Without wasting any more time, she started working through the letdown procedure. Rope in leg pocket. Feed through D-rings. Tie off to tight riser.

She paused to make sure she had no lines or straps around her neck then released her cutaway clutch and rappelled to the forest floor.

“Jump 49, Michaels,” the spotter called over the radio. The rumble of the Twin Otter aircraft filtered through the transmission.

She dug her radio out again. “Go ahead.”

“We’re low on fuel and need to head back. You down yet?”

“Roger that. I’m on the ground. Go on home.”

“Jump 49, Fire Boss,” the spotter said, addressing Birdman.

“Go ahead,” Birdman’s melodic voice answered.

As she listened to the radio exchange between the jumpship and Birdman, Lauren shed her harness and helmet, leaving them in a heap to collect when she returned for her chute.

“We’ve just dropped your cargo. If everybody’s accounted for, we’re outta here. How on that?”
“Roger that. Fire Boss clear.”

Lauren was working to free herself from her jumpsuit when Birdman called her over the radio. “Whenever you’re through playing monkey in the trees, Mike, we could use you over here.”

Lauren rolled her eyes. “Don’t get your boxers in a knot. I’m coming.”

“I want you helping Boomer start a scratch line up the right flank.”

“Roger that.” After shucking out of her jumpsuit, she clipped her radio to her hip, gathered her personal gear bag and plodded through the brush toward the jump spot.

They only had a small fire to catch, but from what she could see from the air before she started spinning, the head was already heating up and getting ready to run. They’d have to work fast to contain it by nightfall.

When a loud crack splintered the air, Lauren stopped in her tracks. Another pop followed. And another. Her initial thought was that boiling sap had caused a few trees to explode. But the pitch was wrong. The sound too close.

“What the hell?” Boomer shouted from a distance.

After a brief pause, another crack echoed through the woods.

And Boomer screamed. In pain. A hoarse, anguished sound that knotted Lauren’s stomach.

“Boomer! What happened?” Her own voice didn’t carry as well as her partner’s, but visions of all forms of disaster added volume to her cry. Smokejumping was inherently rife with danger. The most lethal threat was the unexpected, untrained-for, fluke happening.

“Lauren, look out!” Boomer called over the radio. “They’re shooting at us!”

Shooting? Who?

“Riley! Oh God, no! Jump 49, mayday! Are you there? Mayday! There’s a sniper out here!” Boomer’s horrified cry wrenched inside Lauren.

She dug in her personal gear, or PG, bag and wrapped her fingers around the .357 Magnum the Bureau of Land Management allowed jumpers to carry in case of bear attack. She’d never imagined one day she’d use the weapon to defend against a human assailant.

Heart thumping, she flicked the safety off and headed toward the jump spot. She stayed in the thickest brush and behind fat tree trunks whenever possible. As she inched forward, hiding from the shooter, she scoped the terrain before moving to the next spot that provided cover.

Jitters scrambled through her. Her fingers trembled around the gun, and she prayed she didn’t have to use it. A ninety-foot wall of fire she could handle. This game of cat and mouse with an unseen sniper spooked the hell out of her.

Finally she spotted a yellow jumpsuit at the edge of the narrow clearing that had been their jump spot. From her distance, she thought it looked like Boomer. Lying on the grass. Unmoving. Her pulse leaped.

She checked for signs of the shooter once more. Seeing no one, she gauged the distance to her fallen friend. Prepared to dash across the clearing…

A hand snaked from behind and clapped over her mouth. She spun, met the hard brown glare of a stranger.
A muffled scream rattled in her throat.
Remember: Beth is sponsoring a contest good for a book from her back list (meaning any other than UNDER FIRE or TALL DARK DEFENDER) with the winner pick from those that post a comment during the week. Make sure to leave your email address so she can contact you. She'll draw the winner on Wednesday June 17th. Thanks everyone! :-D


Anonymous said...

Love the quote from your son's bulletin board.

Congratulations on the new releases.

Rhonda said...

I love the quote too.

Beth, we have something in common, I love the Atlanta Braves too!

Congrats on the new release.

Jody F. said...

Congrats on the new release! The excerpt really sucked me in and I love the uber manly heroes you write about.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Beth C said...

Jrobe- Isn't it a good one? I encourage him to ignore the naysayers and go for his dreams even if he makes mistakes along the way. That is how we learn!

Rhonda- yep, I'm a Braves fan from way back. Remember Dale Murphy? I had a crush on him as a teenager!

Jody- glad you enjoyed the excerpt and my heroes. Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...


Congrats on the new release!

I am also a Braves fan like most here :)... was a huge David Justice fan (Chipper Jones too). My friend I have to say takes the cake on Brave fandom though. She has Braves everything and even teach team player RBIs to her 5 yr/7yr old nephews lol.

Rebecca J Vickery said...

Hi Beth and great interview. I too love working in pajamas and can definitely empathize with the distractions that go along. But I'm a rodeo fan, stock car racing type of girl. LOL
Congrats on the new release and I'm looking forward to reading it.


Caffey said...

Hi Beth! So nice to meet you! Mmm, A Romance Suspense! (RS) Its been a while since I read one and this definitely sounds intense! You writing at multiple pubs. It hard to keep track with the different pubs and what you are doing and all?

Too, was there any research you found for this book, that surprised you or fascinating to you?


LighthouseSandy said...

Congrats on the new release, Beth! Loved the excerpt!

Tamsyn said...

Congrats on the new releases! Love the excerpt too! It pulled me right into the story! Looking to check out your website.:o)Tamsyn

conb00 said...

Great interview! Congrats on your Releases,Loved the excerpt.

Beth C said...

Pams00- teaching RBIs to the little ones...that is a fan! Thanks for stopping by!

Rebecca- That's the great thing about sports... from ice skating to boxing there is something for everyone!

Caffey- Writing for different publishers can get a little crazy at times... like when two or more of the publishers need you to do something NOW... and no one cares what deadlines you have with the other publishers. Right now I'm juggling three. Takes planning and organization to keep all the balls in the air sometimes!

Lighthouse Sandy- Thanks! Love your login name!

Tamsyn, Conb00- thanks for stopping by and commenting! I've got you in the drawing!

MarthaE said...

Congrats on the new release! The books sound good... love defenders! I like both of your quotes! Not sure if I could have managed working at home when I had kids... Now it would just be that big kid and that might be hard too! LOL Ohh - you named some of my fav authors too! Suspense - how about Merline Lovelace and Dee Davis!
Thanks for sharing and best wishes!

Eva S said...

Congrats on the new release! Your books sound very interesting, I'll put them on my wishlist!
And great favorite authors you have, I love their books too!

Eva S said...

Oh yes, forgot the address!

eva.silkka at gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I followed from facebook

fun to be postin


Julie Robinson said...

Hi Beth and Ann,

Just checking out your site, Ann, and saw Beth was here. Also the date June 17 caught my eye. It's my b-day.

Beth, I'm with you on the cat poop and throw-up! Thanks for sharing your unglamorous life with us.
Congratulations on your new release. Cops and any other type of military guy/law enforcer, firefighter are my all time favorite heroes---in romance novels and in life. After all, what would our society be like without them?


Beth C said...

Hi all! The winner, according to random.org, is Jody F!!
Congrats Jody. I'll contact you via email to arrange your prize!
Beth C.

Julie Robinson said...

Congats Jody! You're in for a treat.

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