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Character Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway: OPPOSING FORCES by Adrienne Giordano

Update – Congratulations to bn100 for winning a cop of Risking Trust!  Than you to all who participated!

Opposing Forces by Adrienne Giordano released on Monday, June 10 and today we are celebrating with an interview with the boys from Taylor Security, an excerpt and two giveaways from Adrienne, so settle in for some fun reading today!  If you haven’t read my review of Opposing Forces, you can check it out here.

36Adrienne has brought Michael, Vic, Peter (Monk), Gavin, Billy, and Jack (Lynx) to participate in an interview for So Many Reads. If you would like to put a face with a name (or book with a name) you can click on this link to learn more about each of them. Also, this is an interactive interview, so be sure to leave a question for the guys (or Adrienne) in the comments below!

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Interview with Taylor Security 

Amy (with So Many Reads): To start off, I just gotta tell you guys I am a little nervous. Some of you intimidate me, so please go easy on me in this interview.

Vic: Don’t worry, Darlin’, we take good care of our women.

Adrienne: Oh, puh-lease!

Vic: You created this monster, Darlin’.

Adrienne: Don’t I know it.

Amy (sighing happily inside because I have always wanted Vic to call me “Darlin'”): Mr. Taylor, can you let us know what the org chart is at Taylor Security?  Who reports to whom?

37Billy: Mr. Taylor? Don’t get used to that crap. I’m not calling you Mr. Taylor.

Michael (laughing): As you can see, I’m highly respected by my staff. The org chart is currently a mess. I’m at the top, but Vic has a piece of the company so he’s a hair below me. Right now, Lynx reports to both of us because he’s still transitioning into Vic’s old job while Vic gets another division off the ground. Eventually, Lynx will report directly to me and these idiots will all report to him.

Amy: With so many ‘leaders’ in the office, how do you guys make it work?

Monk: We argue a lot.

Vic: Hell, yes.

Lynx: This is the most opinionated group I’ve ever met. Somehow, and it’s beyond me how, but they get things done in exceptional fashion.

Amy: How do you deal with serious issues that you guys may not agree upon related to the company?

Billy: Someone usually gets their ass kicked.

Monk: And it’s usually Billy.

Billy: One time, dude. One time.

Monk: Just saying.

Lynx: Okay. Shut it down.

38Amy: Which one of you has changed the most since joining Taylor Security?

Vic: That’s gotta be me.

Monk: No doubt. You’ve gone soft:

Vic: Pfft. Dream on. Just because I’m done playing cowboy doesn’t mean I can’t still outshoot your ass. I got a wife and five—count ‘em—five kids to take care of.

Michael: He’s got you on that one. Of all of us, his life is drastically different now. And he’s my brother-in-law now. Something really twisted about that one.

Adrienne: He still hasn’t gotten over that Vic broke his own Man Law about not messing with his best friend’s sister.

Michael: I’m over it, but, hey, some lines shouldn’t crossed and I shouldn’t walk in on my sister and my friend doing the nasty.

Adrienne: Moving on!

Amy: Is Taylor Security adding anyone new to the team in the near future?

Michael: We’re always adding new people. Plus, Vic is about to open his training center for operatives who want to keep their skills sharp. We’ll have an entire staff for that place.

Vic: And let me tell you, the crew I’m looking at knows how to get out of serious messes.

Lynx: I’ll be happy when the training center opens. At least then Vic will quit coming by my office and bugging me all day.

39Vic: Boy Scout, you love me.

Lynx: Not that much, I don’t.

Amy: Are there any females that work as security operatives with Taylor Security?

Michael: We don’t have any female operatives right now.

Monk: My Izzy can kick some serious ass though.

Vic (whistling): Oh, yeah. I’ve sparred with her. She’s tough.

Monk: Me too. Except Adrienne deleted that scene.

Adrienne: Blah, blah.

Amy: My pal Kelsey would like to know what secrets you keep for each other. Willing to share any of those?

Michael: I’m out.

Monk: Not touching it.

Billy: For once, I will engage the filter.

Lynx: Yeah, I’m not going there either. I’ve got some good stuff though.

40Vic: And give up my blackmail material? I haven’t lived this long because I’m stupid.

Amy: Any wedding bells or babies in the future for any of you?

Monk: I’m working on Izzy.

Billy: For which one?

Monk: Both!

Michael: Roxann is due any second now. We don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl though. We wanted to be surprised.

Vic: Uh, she wanted to be surprised. You gave in.

Michael: Yep. Not a battle worth fighting. Any smart husband knows which ones are.

Lynx (laughing): Jillian just gave me a key. We’re practically engaged.

Amy: Are any of you open to questions from any readers that pop in today?

Vic: Oh, yes. Please.

Billy: You know I’m game.

Adrienne: Dear God, not Billy.

41Monk: I’m not talking about what kind of underwear I have on.

Billy: Dude! What the hell?

Monk: Laying the ground rules is all.

Amy: Thank you all for taking the time to stop by. Do you think your wives or significant others would be open for an interview in the future?

Vic: Just hell.

Lynx: Jillian would do that. I’ll warn you though, she’s not afraid to say what’s on her mind.

Michael: Mine runs a newspaper. She’d be all over that. After she pops out our baby though. Right now she’s hell on wheels. I’m afraid to speak.

Billy: I’d like to be in the delivery room.

Monk: Come on! Ew!

Billy: What? I just wanna see her screaming at him.

Adrienne: Okay. We’re done. Thank you, gentlemen. Amy, I’ll get the ladies here, you just tell me when. That might be fun because they’ve never all been in a room together. Oh, the stories they could tell.

As you can see from above, several of the guys are willing to answer any questions you have!  Just leave a comment and address it to one of the guys or to Adrienne. 

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Excerpt from Opposing Forces:

Prologue

Greg Leeds knew if he opened his balcony door, there’d be no turning back. His heart banged—buhbum-buhbum-buhbum—had to be five hundred beats a minute. He closed his eyes. Anything to block the surge of emotions smothering him, sucking away what was left of his life.

Relax. Stop thinking.

After a moment, he opened his eyes. One lone lamp on the side table lit the room and the sofa they’d bought last year, a white one, showed the abuse of their four-year-old. What the hell had they been thinking buying a white sofa? He and Marianne had laughed over that gaffe and chalked it up to a lack of parenting experience. He wanted to hope there would be more of those parental missteps. Wanted to.

Walk away.

If he had any sense, he would catch up with Marianne and sweet little Evan, who were on their way to the evening showing of Disney’s latest 3-D flick. The pall of quiet over the house pushed Greg one step closer to the balcony and his heart tripped five hundred again.

For weeks he’d been at this routine. Teetering on this fucking precipice of despair while eyeballing that fucking door with that fucking lock. Each time he’d backed away. Convinced himself he could make things right.

Until this morning.

This morning it was made clear—there would be no redemption. Wanting only to provide for his growing family, he’d played the game and lost. His dream had been simple: get out of the tiny apartment and into a place with a yard where Evan could play with his friends. Somehow, Greg had slipped off track. Or maybe he’d jumped.

At first, it was one small thing. A second of miscalculation. A minor error. Then it became a moment and the moments turned into hours and the hours turned into days and before he knew it, he’d fucked up good.

No turning back.

His scalp tingled and he absently rubbed the spot. Outside, darkness continued to descend on Chicago’s streets.

He took one more step to the door, close enough to touch the handle. To unlock it. To open it. And then the burst of frigid early March air—thirty-six degrees’ worth—blasted him. Somehow, the cold settled his nerves.

She won’t want you now. Why would she?

Little by little, moment by moment, hour by hour, he’d betrayed Marianne and Evan.

From eighteen stories below, a truck horn, that long, piercing blare, sounded. Rush hour. Pedestrians. He should check.

No. Didn’t need to. He’d lived in this building five years. He knew the traffic patterns. He stepped onto the balcony and dragged the iron bistro chair next to the rail.

Minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, he’d thrown his life away. He was the only one who knew. They’d know now. Marianne, his family, his friends. Evan.

They’d know now.

He closed his eyes, breathed in that frigid air and began to shiver. Fear or cold? Not sure, but his dress shirt offered little protection from the lake wind.

Stepping to the rail had been the farthest he’d made it in weeks. It must be the right thing if he’d come this far.

Across the street, half the units in the building were dark. Directly across from him, right in his sight line, one was lit. A bright light in a sea of darkness. There was his answer. The light.

He stepped onto the chair and his breath disappeared into another gust of wind. Somehow he’d started to sweat, and his mind looped. Do it. Don’t do it. Do it.

Too late to think now. Should have done that earlier. When he could have stopped it. Tears streamed down his face. Crying was for sissies and screw-ups. Wasn’t that what his father had always said?

Another car horn sounded and Greg stared at that lone light across the street. A shriek built in his chest, worked its way up his aching throat and bullied its way out.

Into the descending darkness, with the car horn blasting and his mind roaring, Greg hoisted himself over the rail and plunged to the street below.

 Chapter One

Jillian decided she might be the biggest idiot in the city of Chicago. Eleven o’clock on a Friday night and she should be doing things that didn’t include schlepping to her office in a distribution warehouse on the South Side of Chicago. Just driving down the street on the South Side could get a girl slaughtered.

And yet, here she was, retrieving her beloved two-thousand-dollar camera. The one she’d forgotten in her desk drawer, thereby making her the biggest idiot in Chicago. One thing she knew for sure, this would never happen again. All she could hope was that someone hadn’t made off with it.

This camera was more than just valuable. It represented two years of what she could achieve when she set her mind to it. Pinching pennies, giving up lattes—whatever it took to accomplish her goal of owning a camera every amateur photographer would carve out an eye for. And that was saying something. Considering photographers needed their eyes.

She reached into the drawer and her fingers brushed the soft leather of the camera case. Still there. To be sure, she unzipped the bag and found her precious baby, its lovely lens cover nearly smiling back at her. She snatched it out of the case, set it on her lap and gently ran her hand over the smooth surface. A grown woman shouldn’t be so attached to an object.

Eh, why not?

Cameras didn’t disappoint her.

Either way, mission accomplished. She sat back in her chair, ran a finger over her forehead. “You got lucky this time.” She glanced down at the camera. “Let’s get outta here.”

She stowed the camera, slung the bag over her shoulder and kicked the bottom drawer closed. A sudden grinding of one of the loading dock doors shattered the eerie quiet outside her office.

A drug delivery at eleven o’clock on a Friday night?

It could happen, but being the assistant distribution manager for Stennar Pharm, she’d have known about it and she didn’t remember seeing it on the day’s manifest. Unfortunately, in the week since her immediate supervisor had thrown himself off his eighteenth-floor balcony not everything had gone smoothly. Since Greg’s death, the VP of distribution, Ned Dillard, had been keeping abreast of the daily goings-on in the department. Even if she didn’t know what this delivery was, Ned probably did.

Nothing got by him.

She moved to the doorway. At the loading dock, the growl of the truck engine calmed to an idle. A door slammed.

“Twenty minutes to unload and we’re outta here,” Cliff Henderson yelled.

Cliff, one of the distribution team members, had obviously been expecting the delivery. The ride down here and the flat-out creepiness of being alone in a huge warehouse must have zapped her senses.

She stepped out of the office, closed the door behind her and made her way to the loading dock.

“Hi, Cliff.”

He spun toward her, his face stretched in that holy-crap look people get when surprised.

“Jillian. Wow.” He half laughed. “You scared me.”

“I’m sorry. I forgot my camera and had to come back for it.”

He glanced at the case. “You don’t want to leave that here.”

She gestured to the truck. “What’s this?”

“Delivery that was supposed to happen this morning. Truck broke down. Pain in the ass on a Friday night.”

A delivery that hadn’t arrived? She should have been made aware of that. Jillian glanced at the boxes neatly stacked inside the truck. “You’re going to unload this yourself?”

“Not the whole thing. I’ll be done fast.”

“Can I help you?”

He waved the suggestion away. “Get on with your weekend.”

“You’re sure?”

“I got this. No problem.”

She glanced back at the truck. “If you say so. Just leave the paperwork on my desk and I’ll take care of it on Monday.”

“Sure thing. Things have been nuts around here since Greg…”

Jillian stared straight ahead. “The poor man. I can’t imagine being in such pain that he thought jumping off a building would fix it. I feel horrible for his wife and son.”

Her own father would never win any parenting awards, but he’d never allowed his pain to drive him to suicide.

Cliff let out a long, streaming breath. “Let me walk you to your car.”

For a week, the employees had been avoiding the subject. Everyone walking around sort of dazed, knowing their coworkers were thinking about Greg, but refusing to talk about it. The unspoken sorrow lay heavy on all of them, but, like the others, Jillian supposed it was better to not think too hard about Greg and his demons. “I’d appreciate that.”

Cliff led her to the door and pushed it open. “Good thing the cleaning people don’t come in until Saturday. Depending on the crew, you might have lost that camera.”

“That’s what I was worried about. And I need the camera for a class I’m taking tomorrow.”

Another thing she’d pinched her pennies for—a one-day intensive with a world-renowned photographer. The class was only offered once per year and she’d been on the waiting list for four years.

“That sounds fun.”

“I’m hoping so.” They reached her car and Jillian set the camera bag on the floor behind the driver’s seat. She turned to Cliff. “Thanks for walking me out.”

“You bet. Be careful heading home.”

“I’ll lock my doors. Thanks.”

Even self-sufficient women couldn’t be too careful when it came to being alone at night.

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About the Author

Adrienne-Headshot-251x300 writes romantic suspense and mystery.  She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction. For more information on Adrienne’s books please visit www.AdrienneGiordano.com or download the Adrienne Giordano app.

Find Adrienne: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Dangerous Darlings Street Team

Buy Opposing ForcesAmazon Barnes & Noble / Carina Press

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Giveaway Details:

  • Giveaway #1 – By asking a question to one of the guys from Taylor Security (or Adrienne) below, you are entered to win a copy of Risking Trust – the book that started it all and Michael and Roxann’s story. If you already have Risking Trust, you can choose any book in the Private Protectors series (excluding Opposing Forces) or a print copy of The Chase (US only). Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm Central Time on Thursday, June 13, 2013. Winner will be notified by email and announced on blog.
  • Giveaway #2 – Would you like the latest information on Adrienne’s books? Get the Adrienne Giordano app and keep up with the action. Download the app (click on link below) before June 30 and be entered into a drawing to win a Private Protectors gift bag containing a print copy of Man Law (only 15 of those babies in existence!), a set of bullet earrings, a bullet bracelet and a Keeper Kase. Instructions on how to enter the contest can be found on the app’s announcements page.

Thank you for stopping by and celebrating with Adrienne!

 

11 comments

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  1. Amy

    Thank you all again, especially Adrienne, for stopping by for an interview! My pal Misty has a question for you and I wanted to ask it before I forgot. For any of you to answer – “Which guys were friends first and how did they *acquire* the rest of the gang?”

  2. Adrienne Giordano

    Good morning, Amy! Thank you for having me. Vic says (as usual) it all started with him. 🙂 I have to say, it’s true. He and Michael served in the Army together. Michael left the military and eventually opened Taylor Security. When Vic left the military he became a minority partner in Taylor Security and helped build the company. As the government contracts grew, the company’s need for operatives increased and they hired the rest of the crew. Tiny came first, then Monk. The rest of the guys followed.

    Great question!

  3. Kelsey Browning (@KelseyBrowning)

    SO not fair! They didn’t answer my question. That’s okay – I know most of their secrets anyway. And I get to help put them in twisted situations!

    Kels

  4. Adrienne Giordano

    LOL. You didn’t really expect them to answer did you? You know them about as well as I do and they’re not going there!

    1. Kelsey Browning (@KelseyBrowning)

      Damn those men! 🙂

  5. Amy

    I have a question for Michael – does Taylor Security ever have to work with the CIA on any of their jobs?

  6. Adrienne Giordano

    Michael says he can’t comment on specifics, but it has been known to happen. Vic holds many secrets. 🙂

  7. bn100

    Do you have nicknames for each other

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    1. Adrienne Giordano

      Hi, bn100. Yes, the guys have nicknames for each other. The most common would probably be dumbass. The others are probably too racey to mention here. Particularly where Vic is concerned because he has that potty mouth. 🙂

      Thanks for coming by!

  8. jblynn

    What a blast that is!

    Tell me guys, are there any jobs you turn down?

  9. Adrienne Giordano

    Hi, JB! Thank you for coming by. Lynx and Michael had to confer on this one. 🙂 The answer is yes, there are jobs they turn down but its usually due to scheduling conflicts. The operatives they have on staff can handle just about anything so there’s not much Taylor Security isn’t equipped for.

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