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Wednesday, August 19, 2015


I first met author C.J. Lyons in 2004 when we were both finalists in Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart competition. The initial round of judging for Golden Heart back then was done anonymously. Judges had no way of knowing the names of the authors whose works they were reading. I had been judging Golden Heart for several years at that point and had never given a perfect score to any of the manuscripts I’d read—until I read what turned out to be C.J.’s submission.

C.J. and I became friends, and she went on to become a NY Times bestselling author with books she branded as "Thrillers with Heart." Two years ago C.J. published her Shadow Ops trilogy (Chasing Shadows, Lost in Shadows, and Edge of Shadows) about a group of covert operatives who risk both their lives and their hearts to protect our country. Her fans loved the stories and asked for more, but C.J. had moved on to writing other books. So she decided to partner with Amazon to add Shadow Ops to the Kindle Worlds program. I was one of the authors invited to contribute a story.

The wonderful thing about the Kindle Worlds program is that authors are asked to use the original world as a springboard but write their own stories in their own voices. I was told to write a “Lois Winston” book with my trademark sense of humor but tie it into C.J.’s Shadow Ops world.

The result of that challenge is Mom Squad, a romantic suspense Shadow Ops novella featuring Cassandra Davenport, a heroine whose outlook on life and Jersey girl attitude will remind readers of some of my other protagonists, such as Anastasia Pollack from my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series; Gracie Elliott from my Empty Nest Mystery series; Nori Stedworth from Talk Gertie to Me and Elementary, My Dear Gertie; Polly Faith Harmony from Four Uncles and a Wedding; and Dori Johnson from Someone to Watch Over Me.

Here's a blurb:

When Cassandra Davenport applies for a job at www.savingtheworld.us, she expects to find a ‘green’ charity. Instead, she becomes the newest member of a covert organization run by Rose Prospero, the former head of the Special Threats Response Team. Dubbed the Mom Squad, the organization is the brainchild of three former college roommates—attorney general Anthony Granville, ex-FBI agent Gavin Demarco, and tech billionaire Liam Hatch—all of whom have lost loved ones at the hands of terrorists. Financed by Hatch, they work without the congressional oversight that hampered STR, reporting directly to Granville.

Demarco heads up one of the six groups that comprise the new operation. He hires Cassandra as the newest member of his New Jersey based team. In the course of monitoring possible terrorism threats, the Mom Squad discovers a link to Cassandra’s ex-husband. Before she’s fully trained, Cassandra is thrust into a world where her ex may be involved with ISIS-radicalized terrorists bent on killing as many Americans as possible. 

And while they’re saving the world from an imminent attack, what in the world will Cassandra do about all that sexual tension simmering between her and her new boss?
To celebrate the release of Mom Squad, I'm giving away this framed, counted cross stitch design of the Pledge of Allegiance. The framed piece measures 10" x 12" and is one of the designs I created several years ago for The Cross Stitcher magazine. The contest is exclusively for subscribers to my newsletter. If you'd like a chance to win, you can sign up for the newsletter here.

Mom Squad is only $1.99 and like all the Kindle Worlds books, only available from Amazon as an ebook. If you don’t own a Kindle, you can download a free app for your computer, tablet, or phone.


Stephanie Queen said...

The Mom Squad sounds like a winner! BTW, I love that cross stick plaque - you're very talented-- writing, designing and cross-stitching--I wonder what we can expect next from you!

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Stephanie! One thing I can assure you that you'll never see is me singing. People literally cover their ears and run for the hills. ;-)

Angela Adams said...

"The Mom Squad" -- love that tag!

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Angela!