Thursday, March 1, 2012

Guest Blog: Falling In Danger By Kaylie Newell

I'm happy to have on my blog today fellow Beachwalk Press author Kaylie Newell.She is talking about her new release Falling Into Danger.

When people ask what Falling In Danger is about, and I tell them it’s a suspense centered on illegal dog fighting and its emotional aftermath, inevitably the next question will be what gave me the idea for the book.  For me, it’s an interesting point to ponder.  After all, I was one of those people who was always deathly afraid of Pit Bulls.  Those big, muscular dogs with the blocky heads, huge jaws, and questionable reputation.  If I saw one being walked down the sidewalk, I’d grab my kids and cross the street.  I’ll admit, I was guilty of generalization and judgment.  Big time.

But in the last couple of years, a few things have since turned my head.  Made me take notice and pay attention to individual stories.  And opened my heart in the process.  
I, along with most of the country, was absolutely sickened when the Michael Vick story broke a few years ago.  I kept asking myself how someone could do something like that to an animal?  Why did he do it?  The more I asked myself those questions, the more upset I got.  Because there just isn’t a logical answer. 
I began to pay attention to the stories about the dogs that were left behind.  When their pictures were on TV, I’d make it a point to put whatever I was doing aside, and watch.  If there was an article in the paper, I’d read it voraciously, only to finish, wishing there were more.  Slowly, I realized that what I was craving was a happy ending.  I wanted these poor, beaten down dogs to find homes.  To find families to love them.  To give them lives deserving of man kind’s most faithful friend.
As some of those happy endings I was looking for began to unfold, an idea began to take shape.  What would it be like to cover those incredible stories as a journalist?  How emotionally involved would you become?  And what if you had always been terrified of dogs, but were driven to do the story anyway?  How would this change a person?  Would you learn to question convention?  Would you uncover layers of yourself you never knew existed?
Gradually, these questions, as well as the answers I hoped would follow, became Falling In Danger.  My heroine, Jessica Brady is a young, naive reporter who learns that to become the woman she’s always wanted to be, she has to look deep within herself to find the courage and compassion which will change her forever.  While doing a story about an illegal dog fighting operation in LA, she will fall in love, not only with the dogs that were left behind, but also with the sexy detective who ended up saving them.
It’s a story that’s very close to my heart.  While writing this book I had to question a lot of preconceived notions I’ve always had about dogs and Pit Bulls in particular.  I had to look beyond what I thought I knew, to what is actually the truth.  That these dogs can be amazing pets, friends, and family members, if given the chance.  That we, as their people, have to be responsible and educated in order to give them the best shot at a future filled with love, understanding and acceptance.
Thanks to the amazing generosity of Beachwalk Press, 40% of the proceeds from Falling in Danger will go to The Pixie Project animal rescue in Portland, Oregon, where “nothing is impossible”. J

A journalist stumbles onto the story of a lifetime. And finds herself falling in danger… 

When young, na├»ve reporter Jessica Brady is kidnapped and held for ransom by the head of an illegal dog fighting organization, undercover police officer Ian Cole realizes he’s got his hands full. He’s on the verge of busting the ring when he’s assigned to babysit her, which isn’t an easy feat. She’s neurotic, feisty, and also happens to be scared to death of dogs. Now he has to figure out a way to get them both out alive.
Jessica has no idea the thug she’s becoming attracted to is actually a cop, but it’s clear he’s not like the rest of the men in the organization. Particularly Albert Mancini, the disturbed only son of the ring boss, who has an appetite for alcohol and women. Especially Jessica.
When Ian’s cover is blown, he’s forced to bust the ring early. Weeks later, Jessica can’t stop thinking about the experience that has changed her forever. She wonders about the tall, sexy detective who saved her life. And the mobster’s prize-winning pit bull, Bruta.
An idea for a story is born. What if these dogs were given a second chance at life?
As Jessica digs deeper into their troubled world, she ends up falling for the police officer who rescued them. And discovers layers of her heart she never knew existed.
But when Albert escapes from jail, her happiness turns to terror. He hasn’t forgotten about the detective who put him behind bars. Or the beautiful young woman whose every move has become his obsession.


“This way.” Fitz pulled her down another hallway until they reached a door at the end. She limped along, her arm rigid in his hand.

“What are you planning on doing to me?”
Fitz eyed her as he opened the door. “Come on.”
Jessica leaned to the side, looking directly down an obscure flight of stairs which led God knew where. “Down there?”
He didn’t answer, but tugged on her arm, taking the first step down.
She locked her knees in place, her one useless Jimmy Choo sliding maddeningly on the tile. “I’m not going down there.”
“Yes, you are.”
“No, I’m not.” Her voice cracked.
“Yes. You are.”
She yanked, but it was no use. He held tight.
Full-fledged alarm finally lit her up like a firecracker. She kicked and clawed, while strange noises escaped her throat. She was vaguely aware of an arm wrapping around her waist, even as she arched away, bucking like something wild.
“Stop it,” he hissed. “You’re only going to make it worse, do you understand me?”
In reply, she turned and sunk her teeth into his shoulder.
He snatched her up, this time not seeming to care if he hurt her in the process. Again, she was slung over his shoulder as he made his way down the staircase. She twisted around, desperately trying to get a look at what was waiting at the bottom. Her heart slammed in her chest, and she couldn’t catch her breath. Being upside down wasn’t helping. Where was a paper bag when you needed one?
Fitz slowed and reached over to switch on a light at the base of the staircase, never easing his grip off the back of her legs. A weak, yellow glow overtook the room, and she looked up, shoving her hair out of her eyes.
It was sparsely furnished, and dim. She peered into every corner, trying to make out the details. The tangy, sweet smell of marijuana made her nose wrinkle, as well as something else she couldn’t quite put her finger on. Something vaguely familiar…and unsettling.
“If I put you down, are you going to be a good girl?”
She gritted her teeth, and mumbled.
“All right then.” With that, he leaned over and deposited her into a heap on the floor.
Glaring up at him, she scrambled to her feet, too overcome with fear to stay where she was.
She looked around again, stepping closer to Fitz, not knowing what should scare her more; him, or whatever was in the room with her.
Then she heard the unmistakable sound of a chain dragging in the corner. She whipped around and took a step backward, bumping into the wall of a man behind her. She flinched at the feel of his skin on hers, but couldn’t move away.
“What was that?” Her voice was no more than a squeaky exhale of air.
“That?” He took her arm and pulled her away from the shadows she gaped at. “That was Bruta.”


For Kaylie Newell, storytelling is in the blood.  Growing up the daughter of two gifted writers, she knew eventually she’d want to follow in their footsteps.  While she’s written short stories her whole life, it wasn’t until after her kids were born that she decided to shoot for the moon and write her first romance novel.  She hasn’t looked back since!
Kaylie lives in Southern Oregon with her husband, two little girls, an elderly Chihuahua mix, and two indifferent cats. 


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