Hello to Ana and Jonas and the SIDE Team

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Criminal Instinct by Kelly Lynn Parra

Five years in prison or five years working as an undercover agent?

Not the easiest choice for Ana Moreno, who has a history of B and E convictions and a problem with authority. But it’s a decision she and four other felons are willing to make to stay out of a jail cell.

When a deadly shipment of Ecstasy heads for San Francisco, Ana’s team is sent to stop it. Ana’s task: get close to the handsome and dangerous Jonas Saven, right-hand man of a suspected drug dealer with a deadly agenda. As Ana uncovers a web of secrets, betrayal and revenge, her heated attraction to Saven grows.

But with time running out to stop the dangerous drug lord, Ana must complete her mission—even if it costs her everything…

Welcome to Ana Moreno’s world of danger, street drugs, and revenge!

Let me give you a little background on the SIDE team.  SIDE—Secret Informant Drug Enforcement—is a group of undercover recruits gathered to work the streets to ferret out illegal street drug trafficking.  However, these are not any ordinary recruits—this small group consists of criminals working for the good guys for a change.

Instead of spending years behind bars, they trade in their sentencing working for a no-holds-bar boss named Sarge and his sidekick Jay-man.  Sarge knows the recruits’ deepest, darkest secrets and is willing to use them against his team to clean the streets of the filth of drugs.

Sarge found Ana Moreno AKA Switch bruised and beaten with a history of petty crime and B and E arrests.  He knows she’s tough and will do anything to stay out of a cell.  He chose the following team for the same reasons:

~ Billy AKA Jax, a street fighter and jack of all trades when it comes to crime.

~ Aaron AKA Romeo, loves the ladies and their…money.

~ Julia AKA Digit, behind her beauty is an Einstein brain and way a with a computer that almost let her retire in style.

~ Paul AKA Skates, the youngest of the team, is like the Yellow Pages to the San Francisco street crime.

But Sarge has one question:  Can these recruits pull together to work as team or will they always merely look out for themselves?

The SIDE team is put to the test when a deadly shipment of Ecstasy heads for San Francisco. The program already has a bad rep and this is the team’s chance to show they can make a difference and actually do some good before the higher ups decide to pull the plug on the program.

The leading suspects?  A dangerous San Francisco street gang called The Black Dragons, a drug kingpin named Salvador Tyler, and Raymond Brooks, a businessman with strong Israeli drug connections and his right-hand man, Jonas Saven.

Jonas Saven is a complicated man, driven by a dark past, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s sexy as all get out.  Here is a small excerpt where the reader first meets Jonas:

Thump—thump—thump.

Jonas Saven attacked the hanging punch bag with smooth, deliberate jabs.  Perspiration beaded down his naked chest.  Rotating his hips to the right, he pivoted on the ball of his left foot, bent his elbow, and shoved his weight into a lateral punch to the lower bag.  It crashed back toward him, he feinted to his right.  He countered, the force of his punch so hard the impact vibrated straight through the padded glove.

“I’m telling you, Jonas, it’s all his fault.”

Not now.  Sweat leaked into his eyes.  He blinked it away.

Thump—thump—thump.

“If it weren’t for you, where would he be?”

Jonas bounced on the balls of his feet, shifting his weight from foot to foot.  After beating the bag for an hour, the muscles in his arms and torso were already strained.  The slow burn that meant his limit was near.

Focusing on the bag, he pushed on.

Thump, thump—thump—thump.

“Jonas, are you hearing me?”

He glanced at his sister, observed her pace back and forth in front of his office couch, her long legs eating up space.  She halted, pointing her forefinger at him.

He swung out again.

Thump—thump.

“You’re the strength behind the gallery, the club, the operations.”

His gaze jerked to her.  His arms fell to his sides, damp shoulders rising with aggravated breaths.

Swallowing past his parched throat, he said, “What do you know about the operations?”

“Enough to know that you’re the one who takes care of everything.”

No, she didn’t know the truth.  “Kara, I’ve told you before. Ray runs everything fine.  Last night…”  He paused.  “Last night was out of his hands.”

She scoffed.  “Is that what he’s telling you?”

Jonas rubbed the sweat off his forehead with his forearm.  “When’s this obsession—”

“Pleease.

“—you have with Ray going to end?  There isn’t anyone I trust more.”  He looked at her point-blank when she flipped brunette layers of hair over her shoulder.  “Understood?”

She sneered, but even that disdainful look couldn’t mar her beautiful features.  “Don’t try to lay one of your commands on me this time, Jonas—because it’s not going to work.  Besides, you’re not my father.”

The blow hit its target.  He merely blinked, feeling his face go blank.

“Jonas, I didn’t mean—”

Not saying a word, he held up a gloved hand.

She sighed.  “You just make me so angry when you don’t listen.  Ray Brooks got someone killed last night and you could be next.”

Stevie.

His fault, no one else’s.  He whirled.

Thump—thump—thump—thump—thump.

Not just any woman can match this man’s strength, both mentally and physically.  But one tough as nails street narc could fit the role:

Ana flew through the air, landing on the training mat, her sweaty shoulders scraping against rubber.  Damn it!

“Up now, now!”

Gritting her teeth, she rolled to her feet and crouched, hands out, eyes straight on her opponent.  A few hairs escaped her headband, clinging annoyingly to her cheek, and sweat ran down her neck into her sports bra. Her muscles ached from two hours of physical training.

They circled each other.  Jax’s pale eyes never left hers, his hands out and ready.

“Rush him!”

“He’s a mountain,” she muttered.

“Do it!”

Her eyebrows furrowed, but she wasn’t dumb enough to glance at Sarge, giving Jax an open advantage.  Jax’s codename was based on a video game character with arms made of steel, steel that could pretty much pound her to a pulp.  His shaggy blond head was damp and his bare chest glistened with perspiration.  The guy’s right arm was solid with tatts, the left spotted with various designs, and his long legs were covered with gray sweat pants.

Jax gave a slow smile, taunting her with his thick fingers to come at him.

“I don’t give a damn how small you are—or how big he is—rush him.”

Fine. She feinted to her right, ducked low, and rammed her left shoulder into his hard stomach, wincing as the impact radiated down her back.

Jax’s footing slid on the mat and then dug in.  Bands of armor gripped around her slick waist, hauling her upside down, slamming her spandex-covered butt against his solid torso.

She hooked her legs over Jax’s broad shoulders, bending them on either side of his neck and squeezing her knees toward each other.

“Did I ever tell you I like my Latinas spicy and hot?” Jax grunted above her.

“Did I ever tell you I couldn’t give a flying f*ck?”  Blood rushed to her head.  She pressed harder with her knees, performed a full sit up, and aimed for a throat hit with her knuckles.

Jax’s eyes flickered.  He released her waist, gripped her biceps and shot her off of him like a damn slingshot.  She flew, hit padding, and tried to roll.

Too late.  Jax landed on her, knocking her air out of her lungs.  He grabbed one arm, trapping it against the mat.  His musky deodorant filled her nostrils, heavy chest pushing against hers.

Son of a—

“Pin!”

She sucked in air, coughed.  “B*tch.

Jonas and Ana should have fun fighting it out once they meet, don’t you think?

I hope you enjoyed a sneak peek into Ana Moreno’s world. The wonderful Carina Press is giving a free e-copy of Criminal Instinct to a blog visitor, as well as on Facebook and on Twitter. So there are three chances to win!

Many thanks for reading and it’s been really great to be able to share with you today. I look forward to getting to know many of you and the talented authors and their stories during the coming weeks!

~ Kelly Lynn Parra

**reminder: Commenting on an author’s blog entry/entries for the day will enter you to win a digital copy of their Carina Press title. One winner daily. Commenting on any of the Countdown entries will enter you into the big giveaway for a Carina Press promo prize pack. One winner at end of Countdown.**

Kelly Lynn Parra’s earliest stories were told with paintbrushes, but upon discovering the drama, forbidden love, and danger of romance and suspense novels, those paintbrushes were replaced with a keyboard.  Now a multi-published author, she has created memorable characters such as a graffiti artist, a psychic teen, and a tough undercover narc. A two-time RITA finalist, she divides her time between her novels, freelance writing, and the adventures of motherhood, where she juggles her home life with two children, a tattooed husband, a sweet poodle, and a stealth turtle.  Kelly loves to chat with readers and other writers through facebook, twitter, and her website, www.KellyParra.com.

27 thoughts on “Hello to Ana and Jonas and the SIDE Team”

  1. Cyn W. says:

    Okay, we need more now. How long do we have to wait? And when do we get the next book? *sigh* It’s going to be a while, huh?

  2. LOL! Thanks, Cyn! Just 38 more days till Carina launches and a new book to be featured tomorrow. Exciting times!

  3. Elizabeth Bass says:

    I love Ana! She’s such a kick-ass heroine. And your excerpt makes me nostalgic for all the SIDE guys. (Especially Skates…my fave!)

  4. Sara Hantz says:

    Omg, what an awesome excerpt!!!!

  5. Cheryl McInnis says:

    I love this idea for a series, Kelly. Ana and the others sound like really interesting characters, I can’t wait to meet them! Congratulations on the upcoming release~

  6. Elizabeth, I put Skates through heck. Poor guy! And Ana is tough, love that about her!

    Thank you for coming to support me, Sara!!

    Hi Cheryl, thank you! I’m working on a sequel we’ll see how it goes!

  7. And if anyone’s interested the Carina team is sharing some of my fave lines of the book and fun facts on the Carina Press facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/CarinaPress)!

  8. MJ says:

    Kelly, I’m so happy for you! Can’t wait to read it!

  9. Thank you, MJ! Great to hear from you!

  10. Pearl says:

    I was willing to buy this book just based on title and the fact that I love anything in the romantic suspense genre but having read the premise and those snippets I am now *dying* to read it!

  11. Cathy M says:

    Hi Kelly,

    Love the blurb and excerpt, my favorite kind of story.

  12. Estella says:

    I love the premise of this book! Can’t wait for it to release.

  13. ElizabethN says:

    Can’t hardly wait – hopefully May will go by quickly.

  14. Maggie Marr says:

    Kelly
    I can’t wait to read it! You are an AMAZING author!!
    xo
    Maggie

  15. This sounds like a great book…very action driven.

  16. Pearl, that is so nice! Thank you! I do hope you’ll enjoy Criminal Instinct!

    Thank you, Cathy, Estella, and Elizabeth, and Anna!!

    Maggie, you are too!! Thank you so much for your support!!

  17. Janni Nell says:

    Sounds like a great read, Kelly. Looking forward to it.

  18. I’m usually more of a fantasy/scifi girl, but I have a soft spot for alphas, Kelly, and yours is written exceedingly well. This looks great. Adding to my wishlist. :)

  19. Natasha A. says:

    I don’t think Mr.A is going to be very happy with me…
    Wow.

  20. Story sounds fantastic!

  21. Janni and Toni, thank you! Looking forward to your stories!!

    Isabelle, I thank you for giving a RS writer a chance!

    haha, Natasha! I hope he’ll let you slide!

  22. Diane M. says:

    Sounds interesting!

  23. AnnaM says:

    I love the cover. The premise to this story sounds wonderful. I think it’ll be an exciting book.

  24. tracy sharp says:

    Nice excerpt! And OMG I love that cover. Very hot.

  25. Thanks so much, Diane, Anna, and Tracy! I couldn’t be happier with the cover.

  26. How cool to be writing this kind of book! Totally action-filled. Love it!

  27. I am very happy for your great blog. I like your Website. I will set a link from my blog. psychic readings

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