Virna DePaulOne of The Best Jobs In The World!

Please Welcome Back Virna DePaul to my blog

One Of The Best Jobs in the World

        Since I was a child, I’ve dreamed of being a lot of things―a Broadway actress, a hard-rocking musician, an author, and a wife and mother.  As it turns out, I’m a pretty bad actress and singer, but I’m okay with that.  I’m so lucky to have achieved the dreams that really matter most to me!  There are days I feel absolutely powerful as a wife, mother, and author, capable of making a real impact in the world, whether its by helping my kids feel loved or my readers feel inspired.  Of course, there are also days I feel insecure and hopeless, but all I can do is keep moving forward.   

            I published my very first book, Chosen By Blood, with Berkley in May 2011.  Since then, I have published several more, including my recent debut, Dangerous To Her, with Harlequin Romantic Suspense, and Book 2 of the Para-Ops novels, Chosen By Fate, which launches October 4, 2011.  Finally, I’ve self-published several stories, which has  enabled me to try new genres and stretch myself in marketing and business.

            No matter how many books I’ve published or what publishing house puts them out, one thing never changes–I’m always filled with a combination of anxiety and excitement when a book releases.  It’s almost like I’m sending one of my children out into the world for the first time, desperately hoping everone will love it as much as I do.  But as much as I want my babies to be loved, I need to remember I can’t change what is.  While I’ve created something special-to-me, I’ve also typed “the end.”  All I can hope is that readers will appreciate what I’ve tried to do and enjoy the ride. 

            So as I prepare for my latest releases, I want to thank my readers and potential readers for giving me the opportunity to draw you out of your world and into mine.  I hope my magic casts its spell and brings you something special.   

Dangerous To Her (Harlequin Romantic Suspense) Available in stores August 23, 2011 and
Chosen By Fate (Para-Ops Novel 2, October 4, 2011)
Dangerous To Her: For years, court reporter Mattie Nolan kept her child a secret. The man she once loved chose his dangerous job—undercover cop—over her. But now, Sacramento detective Dom Jeffries is all that’s standing between her and the drug kingpin set on revenge against everyone who put him away. Including Mattie.
Though teetering on the edge of burnout, Dom goes undercover as a bailiff in Mattie’s courtroom. While he pretends not to remember her, thoughts of her touch, her smell and the smile that had been his alone keep resurfacing. Then he uncovers the secret she’s protecting. To save the daughter he’s never known and the woman he’s never forgotten, Dom’s ready to sacrifice not just his job, but his life…
Chosen By Fate: Although he keeps company with a vampire and a were, human Shaman Caleb O’Flare can hold his own. But neither his psychic ability nor his healing powers can help his sexy-as-hell teammate, Wraith—a ghost with no memory of her human existence, one who cannot experience touch without pain.
No wraith has managed to exist past its tenth year, so Wraith’s time is about to run out. She wants only two things before accepting her fate: to learn her human identity and experience one night with Caleb. Willing to risk any amount of pain, Wraith propositions him. But when a sign of impending death appears on his chest, Wraith sacrifices her own needs on the chance that sex with her could kill him.
Caleb doesn’t understand Wraith’s change of heart but refuses to let her push him away. As the team travels to Los Angeles to investigate a series of crimes in the feline community, Caleb sets out to prove to Wraith that pleasure and love are worth any risk, including death.
 Chosen By Fate:
Caleb’s hands moved swiftly and efficiently as he set up the mobile radar equipment he’d spread out on the roof. The building below his feet had been swept and a perimeter established. Now all Caleb had to do was determine who was in the room with Mahone and whether Mahone was still alive.
Briefly, he glanced at Ethan Riley, leader of Hope Restored Team Blue and the four men, skilled in entry and perimeter surveillance, who’d accompanied them here. “Did you get in touch with the Para-Ops team?”
Riley looked up from checking his rifle. “They’ve detained the vampire Dante Prime. Devereux said he tried to teleport here, but he’d depleted his powers in Korea . . .”
Caleb snorted. “No shit.” Although vamps could teleport to and from anywhere in the world, provided they’d been there before, that kind of travel drained them. Before he and the rest of the team had interrupted the Vamp Council to question Dante Prime for treason and conspiracy to commit murder, Knox had spent several hours teleporting between North Korea and the United States. Each time, he’d carried a wounded Other or one of his team members back with him. It was a wonder the vamp was even capable of talking at this point…
His fingers moved faster. Almost there. Glancing at his watch, Caleb clenched his teeth and felt a bead of sweat trickle down his temple. He knew they couldn’t go in blind but—
“What about your wraith? Was she what you expected her to be?”
Caleb paused for only a fraction of a second before continuing his task. “She’s not my wraith. She’s a wraith who decided to keep the name Wraith, just to be ornery. And she’s exactly what I expected her to be.” What he didn’t say was that she was also far more than he’d expected. A heinous bitch, yes, but one whose attitude and mouth was designed to hide something textured and complex and . . .
Disgusted with himself, Caleb pressed his lips together and pushed thoughts of Wraith out of his head.
Get Mahone out. That’s all he could think about right now.
“Finally!” Snapping the last wire in place, Caleb flipped on the power and adjusted the radar settings, then scanned the building’s interior until the radar picked up body heat. “Bingo.”
Caleb immediately zoomed the camera in and got a good look at Mahone.
Dear Essenia, he thought, automatically invoking the name of the Earth Goddess to give him strength—strength he was clearly going to need to help Mahone. Although humans believed Essenia was an Otherborn deity, few knew Earth People—like the Native American tribe to which Caleb belonged—had prayed to the same deity for centuries.
With his wrists shackled to chains hanging from the ceiling, Mahone looked like he’d gotten into a fight with a chipper machine and lost. His face and body were covered in blood, and what was left of his clothes hung on his battered body in shreds. From his position on the rooftop above, Caleb once again adjusted the settings on the mobile radar equipment. The image on the screen zoomed out, losing detail and focus until it shaped the entire room, and provided grainy outlines of Mahone, a desk, a table, and one other individual, whose silver hair, height, and slim build proclaimed him to be a vampire.
When Caleb and the five members of Hope Restored Team Blue had arrived at the isolated warehouse twenty minutes earlier, Caleb had figured Knox, leader of the Para-Ops team, had made a mistake by not sending any Others with him. That, or Knox simply had faith in Caleb’s ability to take down anything that got in their way, human or not. Either way, Caleb was getting Mahone out and he planned on both of them to be breathing when he did it.
Caleb thought of the first time he’d met Mahone and the vision he’d had. He’d had the same vision several times since and the moment he’d met Wraith, he’d become convinced that the black-and-white aura that hovered near his own had to be hers. Upon their meeting, he’d felt a sizzling arc of connection that had only intensified with time. Apparently she hadn’t. In fact, she seemed to have no use for him and spent most of her time pushing him away. Maybe the aura belonged to Mahone, instead, and the vision had been a premonition of this very moment, Mahone straddling the line between life and death, waiting to see whether Caleb could save him.
Luckily for both of them, Caleb had come prepared.
Chapter 1
“Joel’s dead.”
Dominic Jeffries stared at fellow detective Cameron Blake, wondering if he was dreaming. It was only a little after six in the morning, less than eight hours since he’d finished his latest undercover op and stopped to have a quick drink with his best friend, Joel Bustamante. Despite Dom having been gone for six months, their drink together had been quick because Dom had been focused on getting three things: a bed to sleep in, a woman to hold for a few hours, and then his next assignment before he was tempted to examine his life and exactly where it was going a little too closely. Likewise, Joel, newly promoted captain and perpetually starry-eyed honeymooner, had been anxious to get back home to his new wife, Tawny.
After talking business and then listening to Joel extol the virtues of settling down with one woman, Dom had finally gotten the bed, had lost interest in the woman, and had been prepared to nail down his next assignment—and not the one Joel had wanted him to take—later today.
Now? Standing in his living room, shirtless and in baggy sweats, his hair falling in eyes that were still half-blurry,
Dom locked his knees to keep them from collapsing.
He’d had a brief premonition of trouble before leaving Joel last night. Hard not to when Joel had been hinting at placing Dom on forced leave with the only alternative being Dom playing babysitter to a judge who was either in danger or dirty. Dom had dismissed the premonition as paranoia. After all, he’d just spent six months living in deep cover with a group of ruthless criminals. But not once in those six months had he felt as defenseless as he did now.
Because this wasn’t a dream. It was his life and, true to form, Dom had once again lost someone very important to him. For a flash, an image of a beautiful young girl with wild corkscrew curls flashed in his head.
Ruthlessly, Dom pushed it away, but then all he saw was Joel—dedicated cop, loyal friend, happier than he’d ever been.
“Dom? Did you hear what I said? Joel’s dead.” Cam’s voice was pitched low but rubbed against Dom’s skin like a jagged blade.
“When—?” was all that Dom managed to croak out.
“Around 3:00 a.m. He was—” Cam looked away, swallowing hard. “He was shot in the abdomen with his service weapon.”
“His weapon? How’s that–”
“There’s talk of suicide.”
The nasty word pounded into Dom’s brain, obliterating the fog and replacing it with a wash of rage. Cam’s blue-blood British accent held a trace of something Dom didn’t miss—disdain. Dom growled and suddenly he had Cam pinned against his living room wall, his arm against the man’s throat. “Take that back.”
Although his features reflected the shock Dom felt, Cam didn’t resist. Didn’t fight him. He simply stared at Dom, his muscles relaxed, his eyes shadowed. “I didn’t say I believe it,” he whispered. “He was my friend, too, Dom.”
Instantly, Dom took three steps back and lowered his arm.
“Look, we’ve reason to believe Mark Guapo was involved. That—”
At Cam’s mention of Mark Guapo, a buzzing started in Dom’s ears. Once again, his mind swept back to his conversation with Joel. Joel had been filling him in on the latest goings-on in the office—in Dom’s undercover absence, one of their fellow detectives had gotten separated and another had just been served divorce papers—as well as the scoop on recently convicted drug lord, Mark Guapo. Prison, it seemed, wasn’t keeping the man down.
Last week, Guapo’s men had thrown their boss’s defense attorney off a twelve-story building. Chief Masters was afraid the judge from Guapo’s trial would be next…only Dom had sensed Joel holding something back. When he’d pushed, his friend had dropped several small bombs.
“Something’s bothering me with his whole Guapo case,” Joel had said last night. “ I mean, the affidavit Manelli filled out for the warrant was tight. It laid out more than enough probable cause for us to search Guapo’s place. But after Guapo’s defense attorney was killed, I ran his phone records and noticed something. A phone call made to Judge Butler’s chambers just hours before his estimated time of death.”
“Judge Butler was the judge who sentenced Guapo to prison. So what was it? A plea for help?” Dom asked.
“Or a warning. Judge Butler said it was simply a personal call— they’re golf buddies—and there’s no reason to think the judge is lying or hiding anything. But either way, someone on the inside might be able to tell us if the judge needs further protection or if he—or someone on his staff—is receiving information relevant to a murder. Plus, despite Guapo’s conviction, his operation is as strong as ever. There’s talk that he’s expanding beyond drugs and stolen cars to firearms. That’s why, if you continue to fight me on taking some time off, I want you to go undercover as Judge Butler’s bailiff. Keep an eye out for anything suspicious. I’ve already talked to the chief and he’s on board.”
Stroking his chin, Dom tried to ingest it all. “And the Sheriff’s Department? How do they feel about Sac PD infiltrating their territory?”
“The Sheriff’s Department knows you’re coming, but only the heads know why. As far as everyone else is concerned, you’d be going in as who you are, a cop suffering from imminent burnout who needs a low-stress assignment for a month until we can figure out what to do with you.” It wasn’t the first time Joel had insisted Dom needed to take a break—but he sensed this was the first time Joel, now that he’d been promoted to being Dom’s boss, was willing to follow through and make it happen. Pose as a bailiff or take some time off. For some reason, the latter held the most appeal. Maybe Joel was right, he thought. Maybe he could use some time to rest. To think. Lately, he’d been struggling against a strange sense of restlessness. An urge to dispense with the games and simply be himself.
Now why would he want something like that? He barely even knew who he was.
With the thought came a sudden cramping in his gut that had plagued him for the past week. His damn ulcer was acting up again. Refusing to rub it, refusing to acknowledge it, Dom gritted his teeth until it went away. A few seconds. Same as before. Which meant it was nothing. Just like his restlessness was nothing.
“Don’t worry about the bailiff assignment being too boring for you,” Joel interrupted his thoughts. “Danger seems to follow you no matter where you go. Plus, you can always hope someone recognizes you from a previous undercover op. That would certainly spice things up.”
“Quit trying to make me feel better,” Dom growled, playing along even though Joel’s attempt at humor sounded strained. “No one would recognize me once I’m out of this getup.” With his hair dyed black and the dark contacts, Dom could have passed for Joel’s brother. Once he was close-shaven, with blond hair and blue eyes again, no one, not even his last lover, would recognize him. “So what are the chances I’ll actually see action on this?”
“Slim to none,” Joel admitted. “This is all speculation. Chances are you’ll probably just be doing regular duty for the entire month.” Which was why, in the end, Dom had said he’d think about it—he hadn’t been able to decide between bored and deathly bored but working. Joel had handed him a stack of files and told him to look at them before they talked later today.
But he was never going to be able to talk to his friend again. Just like with Mattie, the only woman Dom had ever loved, he’d have to settle for memories. Memories that were never enough to comfort, only to hurt. To remind him why loving others and being an undercover street cop was so damn dangerous—eventually, chances were someone ended up feeling exactly the way he was now.
One Lucky person will win a copy of the following a copy of  Chosen By Blood, A Vampire’s Salvation (ebook), and This Magic Moment (ebook).
Comment away
Virna DePaul Links:

About mahalia2010

Mother, Sister, Friend, Author

Posted on September 5, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Please enter me in the contest..I have never read any of your books but they sound aresome..

  2. I have your latest RS from Harlequin and what I’ve read so far is so good. Thanks for the contest.

  3. Congratulations on your successes Virna. I’m impressed and inspired! You books sound like wonderful reads.

    I totally relate to the hopeless feel… and the powerful!

  4. These sound amazing and I always love finding new authors 🙂 thanks for the giveaway xoxox

  5. they are amazing cover for you book and for being a new author it is great

  6. I think all of your books look great and congrats! Please throw my name in the hat to win, of course!
    msmjb65 AT gmail DOT com

  7. I loved Chosen By Blood. I am so excited for Chosen By Fate! Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. Both books sound terrific and I love the look of the cover of “Chosen By Fate”. The dark background colors with the blue contrasts really well and catches the eye.

  9. Thank you so much to everyone for stopping by and commenting and to Mahalia for having me as a guest! 🙂

  10. Please enter me in the contest. I have not read any of your books, but would like to. Thank you for the chance to win.

    reneebennett35 at yahoo dot com

  11. Hi you are a new author to me but you are on my list!!!


  12. Being a writer is a pretty awesome sounding job. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me in the contest.

  13. They all sound like great stories. Congrats on your success.

  14. Loved the first one… Looking forward to Chosen by Fate. Hoping for many more fabulous reads:-)

  15. i love the covers of the books, they are both very beautiful. the excerpts were wonderful and i can’t wait to read the books to see what happens next in them.

  16. Hey Everyone. The EAA conf is over and I’ll be on line tomorrow to pick a winner. THanks for commenting in my absence. I didn’t expect to have no net at the hotel and wasn’t willing to pay 15 a day for it.

  17. No problem Mahalia can’t say I blame you $15 a day is a little high since a lot provide free access anymore. Hope the conference went well and welcome back

  18. The winner is

    I will forward your info over to Virna! Thanks everyone for participating!

  19. Please enter me in the contest… you write within the catagories I am most interested in and as an aspiring writer myself, I am always interested in taking in as much paranormal romance, contemporary romance, and erotic romance as possible. Thanks for the opportunity and good luck with your budding success!

  1. Pingback: The Stuff Heroes Are Made Of « Mahalia Levey

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