Today, I have author Jillian David in the interview chair. We’re discussing her latest release Hidden Comrade, book two in the Project Morpheus series, a military romantic suspense. Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
1. Can you share something about yourself and how you became an author?
Jillian: I always enjoyed writing, even at a young age. But I also very much wanted to be a doctor. In college, I horrified my parents by declaring as an English poetry writing major (oh yes, now >that< is a marketable major!). Luckily, I completed all of my premed courses and went on to medical school where I later became a rural family physician. After eight years of training and several years of starting a new practice, I finally had gotten my brain to a point where I could write again.
It would be great to say, yup, that’s when I started publishing, but it was another few years before I completed the Best Manuscript Ever (“Reluctant Sanctuary” or something equally schmaltzy) in 2008, which as it turned out was more like the Worst Manuscript Ever. So, yep, that file got burned in effigy.
Then I wrote what was to become “Immortal Flame” book #1 in the Hell to Pay paranormal series. Through about a million revisions and editing guidance from writing friends, I stumbled into a three-book deal with Crimson Romance! The rest, well, it’s history, but it was – and is – still a long path of writing that I’m on!
2. What is something unique/quirky about you?
Jillian: The thing folks find most unique as a writer is that I’m also a rural doctor. Honestly, if Marcus Quimby, MD and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and Dr. Neil Fleischman from Northern Exposure all had an unholy union … I’m basically their demonic offspring (professionally speaking).
Tes, I deliver babies, perform c-sections and colonoscopies, do numerous office procedures, admit patients to the hospital, work in the clinic, teach medical students and residents, and – if you follow my #oncall hashtag you’ll see – I take a metric ton of call each year!
The funny part is that sometimes I’ll edit while on call and do strange things like race the cervix. For example: Patient is at 6cm dilated, I have 50 pages to edit. GO! Which one will get there first? Please never tell anyone that I do this …
3. Tell us something really interesting that’s happened to you.
Jillian: Once upon a time, I delivered a famous action movie star’s baby. Due to HIPAA regulations, I will never be able to tell anyone the star’s name!
4. What are some of your pet peeves?
Jillian: People who don’t wash their hands or cover sneezes. Combine that with my aversion to buffets, and I get skeeved out quickly. For the grand prize: If you show me the Golden Corral chocolate e-coli fountain, I WILL start twitching and pour hand sanitizer all over myself.
5. Where were you born/grew up?
Jillian: Born and raised pretty much in the Smoky Mountains, not too far from where Dolly Parton grew up! However, I currently live At the End Of the World (not in the Smokies).
6. If you knew you’d die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
Jillian: Chocolate and lots of it. Probably hugs, too.
7. Who is your hero and why?
Jilian: In writing, it’s Tess Gerritsen, because she’s an amazingly successful writer who was an internist first. In medicine, I love the story of Doc Susie, pioneer physician practicing in Frasier, Colorado in the early 1900’s. There’s a book about her life that’s a great read: https://www.amazon.com/Doc-Susie-Country-Physician-Colorado/dp/0962789658
8. What kind of world ruler would you be?
Jillian: Benign dictator (you can bring me your suggestions, and I will consider them)
9. What are you passionate about these days?
Jillian: Military romantic suspense!
Physician burnout and quality of care instead of pushing volumes of visits through the door
Gearing up for book signings this year
How much I hate insurance companies (their customer is the shareholder, NOT the patient – now everything makes sense)
Loading my Kindle with tons of books
Watching the entire Marvel universe in chronological order (movies and series – I’m at The Punisher season 1 right now)
Completing my first ever medical romance novel!
Gearing up for a fall 50K trail race
10. What do you do to unwind and relax?
Jillian: I will sit quietly in my recliner and watch a Marvel show with my cat, Fred.
11. How do you find time to write as a parent?
Jillian: I’m a pet parent, so I manage pretty well in that respect. Sometimes my fur babies will sit on my hands while I’m trying to write!
12. Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Jilian: Driven, Diligent, Creative, Sarcastic, Fluffy.
13. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Jillian: By age 12 (middle school) for sure. I had very encouraging teachers.
14. Do you have a favourite movie?
Jillian: Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan
15. Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
Jillian: My latest series, Project Morpheus, which is a military romantic suspense series about ex-Special Forces soldiers who were subjects of a military experiment gone terribly wrong. Now they are super soldiers, ultimate protectors, and ticking time bombs. I think the three books (so far!) in this series would make great action/romance movies!
Title: Hidden Comrade
Series: Project Morpheus, Book Two
Author: Jillian David
Genre: Military Romantic Suspense
The Project Morpheus series: Military romance, steamy passion, and heart-stopping suspense.
The Morpheus Squad: Ultimate soldiers who hide in plain sight, fierce protectors risking their existence for those they love… and virally-altered, ticking time bombs.
Blurb: Pele Tuitama’s Morpheus Squad mission infiltrating a Smoky Mountain children’s camp is FUBAR. He might be a virally-enhanced military experiment, but augmented abilities won’t help him protect Reagan McNeill, the most unsecure-able target imaginable. Sweet Reagan’s kisses and the possibility of a future he should never consider, distracts his laser focus. If Pele can’t keep Reagan safe from an evil adversary bent on revenge against the entire McNeill family, then Reagan will die.
After a nasty breakup, Reagan doesn’t trust any man—or herself. Enter handsome Pele, the world’s worst camp counselor. She doesn’t believe his story or his motives. When overly-protective Pele draws her close and then rejects her, Reagan is finished with games. Then the truth she learns rips open recently-healed emotional wounds.
In order to escape through the mountains, Pele must share his deadliest secret. To have a chance at their future, they must reveal their demons and pray for acceptance … and survival.
“Is relaxing under the stars part of the traditional meal?” Reagan’s face entered his field of vision.
A flash of her body above him shot a bolt of desire into his groin. The damned virus growled its demand for action.
He tugged on one of her braids. “It should be. What about S’mores?”
“They’re traditional campfire snacks here at Camp Foxfire.”
“Then teach me.”
With a nod, she handed him a stick. “Okay. You put two marshmallows on and roast them.”
He immediately thrust the white sugar puffs into the flame and they caught fire. “I don’t think that’s correct,” he said as the sugar turned to black carbon.
“Actually.” She blew out the flame. “Some people like the burnt flavor. Try it. Be careful, it’ll be like molten lava inside.”
He took a bite of the marshmallow, getting a smoky, thin crust and a hot, gooey sugary center. Not bad.
“Now, if you want to do it the expert way, ahem, then you must learn patience. The color you’re going for is light caramelized brown, which is the most perfect color for a roasted marshmallow.”
“I’m light caramelized brown, does that count as perfect?”
A snicker burst from her lips. “Sure, if paired with melted chocolate.” She clapped her hand over her mouth. “Oh. Never mind.”
A flash of Reagan licking chocolate off of his body sent another inappropriate jolt straight to his throbbing pelvis. Focusing on the task at hand, he followed her lead and kept the marshmallows well above the heat until they were bubbled and brown.
“Hold our sticks.” She reached into the other packages. “Next step is turning them into S’mores.” She sandwiched the steaming marshmallow between a second graham cracker and chocolate combo and slid the stick out. “Okay, try it.”
He bit down and got a burst of warm sugar, semi-melted chocolate, and crunchy graham cracker. “This is really good.”
“I know.” She sat back down on the tarp. “Simple but fun.” She sighed. He followed the line of her neck as she swallowed a bite.
“What?” A furrow formed between her brows.
“You have marshmallow on your face.”
She swiped at her nose and cheek. “Got it?”
The tiny piece of white remained on her lower lip. “Not quite.”
He leaned forward and licked his lips. She froze.
Gently. He would be careful. Shoving aside the drive to consume her, mark her, take her, he concentrated on Reagan’s sweet face instead. “May I?”
“Okay,” she whispered.
He nipped her lower lip and a tiny shot of sugar combined with the taste of her lips burst on his tongue. Ti’o. Perfection. In a flash, his damned viral-driven lust infused every cell with a blinding wave of need. He wanted to possess her, here, under the stars and in front of the fire. Primitive and perfect.
“Mmm.” He nipped at her soft lips, tasting, and licking.
Angling his head, he slid his tongue along the seam of her mouth. His senses were overloaded with wood smoke, sugar, fresh air, and Reagan’s soft skin.
A faint warning alarm chimed.
Trailing his lips down one side of her face, he enjoyed the tiny sounds she made. He eased her back onto the tarp and exposed her smooth neck. With his finger, he traced the jumping pulse and dropped light kisses until she moaned.
She gripped his bare forearms. Then Reagan drew him down to meet her lips for a sizzling kiss that made every muscle in his torso clench.
Bracing his hands next to her head, he kept his lower body to one side. She’d be less likely to encounter the hidden knives and guns. Also, ti’o, the minute he got fully on top of her, all best intentions to take things slowly would fly out the window. As it was, the need to grind into her shifting hips was becoming a priority. A wave of desire, amplified by his virus, rushed over him until a buzzing sound traveled through his chest.
When she slid her hands under his shirt, he hissed his pleasure but couldn’t risk her finding the Sig. He eased her hands away and laced his fingers in hers above her head, trying to sell the move as part of the seduction.
Nudging her mouth open wider, he swept his tongue deep inside. He ran his hands down her sides and squeezed her hips through the denim until she whimpered. What would it feel like to hold on to her bare skin as he drove into her until he lost his mind?
He retained only the barest sliver of control.
When she lifted her head to brush her mouth against his, his leg vibrated.
On his leg. Vibrating.
The buzzing continued. Through the fog of lust, he registered the source and woke up in a hurry, like cold water thrown on hot stones.
Kefe. The motion detectors had activated. Cold sweat dried in the heat of the fire.
Now he positioned himself on all fours, but this time it was to shield her as he cursed the bright fire that knocked out his night vision.
He scanned the dark woods. Enemies? Where?
Title: Fallen Comrade
Series: Project Morpheus, Book One
Author: Jillian David
Genre: Military Romantic Suspense
Blurb: Ex-Green Beret Jake Zimmerman’s Georgia mountain seclusion is shattered when the one woman he should never have left, pregnant Kiera McNeill, shows up on his doorstep. Her life is in danger, thanks to a botched Morpheus Squad mission. If the nature of her baby is discovered, evil forces will stop at nothing to capture Kiera. When Kiera learns of Jake’s top-secret Morpheus Virus running through his veins, she realizes that her protector is the deadlier threat.
Kiera knows the secrets of Fallen Comrades, a billion-dollar “charity” which siphons donations away from wounded veterans and into the pockets of power-hungry CFO Beau Lequire. Now her sadistic ex-boss, Lequire, wants revenge. Her only chance of escape rests in the lethal hands of the man who once rejected her: Jake. All she needs to do is suppress her feelings for Jake long enough to destroy Fallen Comrades, stay alive, and save her baby.
Thanks to his tree-mounted security cameras that made the system guarding the crown jewels look amateur, it took less than ten seconds for Jake Zimmerman to identify the vehicle creeping to a stop in front of his remote Blue Ridge, Georgia, cabin. Silver Hyundai Accent, five years old, brand-new tires. No registration.
He cocked his head to the side. No whumps of an incoming government helo.
Sparks of adrenaline fired up his nerves, lasering all of his senses on the intruder.
He ran the pad of his index finger over the rough grip of the Sig nestled in his shoulder holster. How could anyone find him? He’d buried his personal intel deeper than a black ops mission file.
With minimal concentration, Jake could detect the ever-present multitool tucked away in a pocket and ready to go for any occasion.
He peered at the … occasion … on the computer screen.
He kept the house lights off. Control, dammit. Drawing a hand over his face, he took several deep breaths. The muscles in his neck clenched, refusing to loosen. The damned virus had started to take over his brain again until his entire world narrowed down to one mandate: destroy.
No, damn it. He was not this … monster.
Thanks to the top-secret Project Morpheus he had volunteered for almost two years ago in Special Forces, the darkness within Jake thrived on the anarchy that was his virally corrupted soul.
Add in an uninvited visitor, and it looked like tonight would bring even more fun for one of the U.S. Army’s best-kept secrets.
Did the person want to rob him? Jake had no material items of value.
Well, he had a locket with a clip of smooth auburn hair he should have thrown away long before now. Yeah, he was a bastard for preserving the keepsake, despite being technically faithful to his then-wife who did not have auburn hair. Could explain why he was no longer married.
So. What to do about the person outside his house?
Wiping his hands on his black cargo pants, he unholstered the Sig and crept to the front door.
The one person who knew he lived here was Mateo, and Jake hadn’t seen his Special Forces buddy since Brady McNeill’s funeral.
Brady’s funeral. And one particularly fucked-up night. Not in small part because of seeing Brady’s sister, Kiera.
Seen? A bland word for the silky skin sliding over him and around him during their sweaty, heated reunion.
Since that night, nothing besides Jake’s own misery mattered. Not his best friend’s death, not the Morpheus Squad, his own emotional baggage. Nothing.
Which was exactly what he had now, wasn’t it? Nothing.
Well, not completely. He had someone casing his house.
He licked his lips.
The virus crackled through his nerve endings. Mental processes turned to sludge. As unnatural strength and acuity of his senses grew, his sanity ebbed.
What a time to skip an antidote dose.
Too late now.
He rolled his shoulders, upper back, and arms. Each muscle popped as poorly contained rage swept through him, turning him from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde.
Sweat broke out on his forehead as the shaking began.
On second thought, he could use a good brawl. Stuffing the Sig back in his holster, he flexed his hands. Mr. Hyde would much rather do this the natural way.
The hunched figure in the baggy jacket trudged up the gravel driveway, halting gait a little short on one leg. He couldn’t make out any other details with the hood casting a shadow.
Pressing his back to the wall next to the front door, he listened. The virus strained like a chained dog tempted by a wounded rabbit.
Jake became a metal spring, coiled and ready.
At a knock on the door, he didn’t move.
The spring inside of him tightened. Tick, tick, tick. His body ratcheted down as tight as he could go.
A tap on the electronic keypad outside. What the hell? The bolt turned and the door cracked open.
The coil released.
Jillian David is a rural family physician who lives near the end of the earth, writing paranormal, suspense, and adventure romances with medical characters and scenarios. She loves to use medical situations to drive drama. Her favorite cell is the platelet and her least-favorite organ is the pancreas. She fully believes that curse words, when appropriately deployed during surgery, are hemostatic. https://www.jilliandavid.net
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4 thoughts on “Jillian David – Hidden Comrade”
I love Jillian David’s book series ‘Cowboys of Copper River’.
Aw, thank you Audrey. Th
at’s so nice of you to say. I’m glad you liked my psychic cowboys series as well!!
This series looks exciting. I would love to read them
Thank you for sharing your guest post, bio and books’ details, this sounds like an exciting book and series and I am looking forward to reading these stories
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