by Kat Martin
I’m sure every author has an interesting tale of how he or she got published. Mine is sort of a merry-go-round story that began when I met my future husband. He had written a Western called Shadow of the Mast by L.J. Martin. After we started dating, he asked me to read it.
I ended up loving the novel, which was extremely moving and very romantic. But Larry couldn’t sell it. Since I had read a lot of great books and loved Shadow of the Mast, I couldn’t understand why.
After a second reading, I realized there were a number of grammar and spelling errors (no spell-check back then). Since I was good at those things, I decided to help him polish the novel.
By the time I was finished, I was hooked on the idea of writing a book of my own. I chose a Western Romance because I had a western background. My great grandmother came West on a covered wagon. My grandmother was one of the original rodeo cowgirls. I was very familiar with the history of that era and so I wrote Magnificent Passage.
It was the beginning of my journey to publication. With each of us having a book to sell, we did a lot of do-diligence, which included reading the voluminous Literary Marketplace, as well as studying novels on bookstore shelves to see what company might be interested in publishing our works.
At the same time, we were attending conferences, going to writing classes, and trying to find an agent.
At a conference in Fresno, California, we met a woman who had agreed to read sixty pages of any attendee’s manuscript. We both sent our pages. The agent took both of us on as clients.
Unfortunately, both our manuscripts were summarily rejected by every publisher in NYC. Then I caught a break. A new company looking for romance titles bought Magnificent Passage and made it the lead title for their new line!
It was a great start for me. During that time, Larry’s manuscript, his second novel, got picked up by Kensington. After all the waiting, we were published six weeks apart, which meant we could travel and promote our books together.
Unfortunately for me, my first publisher closed its doors after two of my books were printed and I was out on the street again. Again, I was rejected everywhere.
Totally distraught, at the last possible moment, Berkley picked up Captain’s Bride, and again, I was chosen as a lead title. But the money was not enough to live on so I was forced to move to another company.
Over the years, I’ve worked for nearly all the major houses. Some were a real pleasure, others not so much.
Currently, I’m writing for Kensington Books. They’re publishing my contemporary romantic suspense novels, the latest being INTO THE WHIRLWIND, part of the BOSS Inc. Trilogy.
INTO THE WHIRLWIND, out May 31st, is Meg and Dirk Reynolds’s story. When Megan O’Brien’s three-year-old son is kidnapped, the former lingerie model goes to the only man she trusts, private investigator, Dirk Reynolds, her former bodyguard, the man who was still owns her heart. Desperate for Dirk’s help, Meg is willing to risk everything to save little Charlie.
INTO THE WHIRLWIND is a powerful tale that delves into the murky world of high stakes gambling, international crime, and terrible danger.
I hope you’ll watch for INTO THE WHIRLWIND and that you enjoy Dirk and Meg’s story. Till then, all best wishes and happy reading, Kat
“The second in the BOSS, Inc. series continues to excite! If you enjoy taught page-turners with powerful and protective alpha males, you’ve found one. The main characters have fiery chemistry and are evenly matched, making the intensity and intrigue all the more thrilling. Readers have come to expect steamy sex and plenty of suspense from Martin, and this series provides it in abundance!” —RT BOOK REVIEWS
INTO THE WHIRLWIND
Megan O’Brien parked at the end of the gravel driveway and quietly got out of her compact SUV. Through the trees, she could hear the roar of a chainsaw, hear see two-by-fours going up to form the sides of the house under construction.
The garage was already finished, undoubtedly full of Dirk’s toys, including a Harley and a custom Dodge Viper. In the summer, he kept a boat docked on the lake below the house.
Though two other men were hard at work, her gaze went straight to Dirk. Hammer in hand, carpenter’s belt dangling low on his waist, he was shirtless, though the January air was chill.
Hard muscle flexed across his back and shoulders as he pounded in a nail with an ease that said how many times he had done it. Long, sinewy muscles outlined by the soft fabric of his jeans stretched and moved as he worked on his house.
Meg’s gaze went over the familiar dragon tattoo that wound over one shoulder and inched up the side of his neck. The colored ink seemed right with the sexy, short-cropped, horseshoe mustache that framed his mouth and curved down to his jaw, making him look like the hard, tough man he was.
Even her terrible fear for her son couldn’t block the memories of how it had felt to lie with him. Couldn’t lessen the yearning that burned through her body just at the sight of him.
On the fashion show tour, Dirk had been her bodyguard, and though every instinct had warned her not to get involved with him, the fierce attraction between them was impossible to resist.
Once the tour returned home, Meg had ended the affair. Dirk Reynolds was wild and fierce while she was a single mother with a son to raise. She had duties, responsibilities.
She couldn’t have Dirk Reynolds.
But she had never gotten over Dirk.
Meg steeled herself and headed along the gravel driveway toward the house he was rebuilding after the fire that had nearly killed him five months ago. One thing she knew, Dirk Reynolds was a hard man to kill.
Which was the reason she had swallowed her pride and her heartache and come to him. She needed him, trusted him as she never had another man. Her little boy’s life depended on gaining this man’s help. This man she had loved and rejected.
She stepped out of the foliage and started toward him. With Dirk’s usual keen senses, he turned, alert that someone was there, though the buzz of the saw hid the sound of her footsteps.
For several long moments, he just stared, watching as she approached. He was six-two, his body lean and sculpted. Wavy dark brown hair curled at the nape of his neck. She forced herself to keep walking, even as his jaw locked and a fierce scowl darkened his face.
Dirk grabbed a faded blue work shirt and shrugged it on, covering most of his amazing chest. He didn’t bother fastening the buttons, just strode toward her, blocking her view of the house.
He stopped right in front of her. “What are doing here, Meg?”
“I need to talk to you. It’s…it’s urgent.”
“You’re trespassing. What do you want?”
She swallowed, fought to stay strong. He didn’t want her there. She had known he wouldn’t. Known he thought of her only with contempt. She wished he would hold her the way he used to when she was afraid. “I…I want to hire you.”
The corner of his mouth edged into a ruthless half smile. “What for? Stud service?”
She wanted to cry. She wanted to beg his forgiveness. Tell him she had never forgotten him. That she never would. She knew it wouldn’t matter to Dirk. Not anymore.
It didn’t matter. Nothing mattered, but saving the life of her son.