Maji Rios began to live in my mind several years ago. As the drafts of the first book took shape, she became real to a variety of readers (thank you, beta-readers, consulting military readers, and critique group partners). I knew I was on the right track when folks said they wanted to hang out with Maji in real life, and speculated about what she would do in their real-life situations. With a bit more work on the story, I finally felt she was ready to meet the wider world of readers.
To my delight, Bold Strokes Books agreed to publish the first Maji novel, Strictly Need to Know. In mid-December, the paperback and e-book versions will be available to the public – people I don’t know, who have never heard of Maji. (An exciting and little bit terrifying idea) Later in the year, I’ll release a few excerpts to whet the appetite.
For now, here’s the very brief teaser (blurb):
When covert operator Maji Rios returns to her sleepy Long Island refuge after years of being anyone the Army needs her to be, all she wants is a quiet summer. Saving a gorgeous stranger from Russian mobsters on her first night home was not in her plans. Nor was waking up with her the next day, inside the notorious Benedetti family’s estate, already on the clock for her next mission.
One brush with danger can’t scare Rose diStephano away from her last weeks with her favorite cousin, Angelo Benedetti. How hard could tagging along to Maji’s martial arts camp be? Even if it means pretending that Maji is Angelo’s girlfriend, rather than the woman she is falling in love with.
Maji will do whatever she must to complete her mission. Infiltrate enemy territory? Check. Protect civilians from blowback? Check. Keep Rose from getting too close? Ouch.