Terry Odell | Getting Sidetracked Can Be Good
November 15, 2013
When I set out to write DANGEROUS CONNECTIONS, the
fifth book in my Blackthorne, Inc. romantic
suspense series, the first thing I had to do was decide on whose story it
would be. My first four dealt with field operatives, but Jinx, the man who rode
the computer desk back at the compound thought he deserved a turn. Since these
books are all about yanking my characters out of their comfort zones, I tried to
figure out what I could do to torment Jinx.
Since he worked with computers, it was obvious that I'd have to deny him access
to all things cyberspace. The original spark of an idea came after being in
White Plains, NY for a conference just as Hurricane Sandy was bearing down. I
managed to get the last plane out of the White Plains airport, but my cousin and
her family live nearby, and they were stuck without power for almost two weeks.
Bouncing this idea around, I thought I'd figure out a way to stick Jinx in some
small town in middle America, and have him faced with solving some kind of
crisis that would have been a piece of cake had he been able to get on line. (I
don't plot much in advance—that's about as much of an outline as I ever
But, all my other Blackthorne, Inc. books begin showing the covert ops team in
the field, doing what they do best, even though the actual story takes place
elsewhere. (My daughter refers to these scenes as my "MacGyver Gambit"
Openings.) I was writing the opening scene, where Jinx is watching a hostage
rescue go south from his basement office at the Blackthorne, Inc. compound. In
order to add some realistic details, I thought the rescue should be set in
Mexican cartel territory. What I discovered, quite by accident, was an article
on Google saying that the Mexican cartels were kidnapping American engineers in
order to build private cell-phone networks for the cartels. And, just like that,
my story changed.
No more middle America. No more post-storm power outage. Because he had the
technological skills, poor Jinx got sent to Mexico to infiltrate the cartels and
find not only the hostage the field team had been sent to rescue, but also the
field team itself. And, since it's a romance, there had to be a heroine. At
the Mexican resort, Jinx meets up with Elle, a California cop who's looking for
her missing sister. After all, I had to give Jinx some help with the covert stuff.
Here's an excerpt from DANGEROUS CONNECTIONS, of
the first meet between Jinx and Elle.
Backlit against the glare, a silhouette appeared in the passageway
between the sitting room and bedroom.
Still too shadowy to make out details, there was no mistaking the
curvaceous figure of the voice's owner. Or the gun clutched in front of her
"Hey, take it easy." Jinx kept one hand on the towel as he raised
the other above his head. "I'm unarmed."
"You could have a weapon strapped to the inside of your leg under
that towel," she said.
He wondered if she was going to check. Or if he'd mind. In the
light, her features went well with her body. Her hair, shiny and brown, was
braided into a plait hanging over a shoulder. Diamond stud earrings caught the
Tanned skin, high cheekbones, deep brown eyes, and wide, full lips
glistening with peach-colored lipstick.
She wore a see-through, white blouse unbuttoned low enough to reveal
what he assumed was a blue bathing suit top, not her bra. Under other
circumstances, he'd be glad to confirm it.
White slacks hugged her legs—and he'd bet she had a great ass,
but again, circumstances didn't warrant wasting time thinking about it. She wore
low-heeled sandals, and her toes were painted a coral that matched her lips,
and—his eyes returning to the gun she held—matched her fingernails
There was a vague familiarity about her, but nothing he could place.
One of the poolside women, he decided. One of the smiley, flirty ones, although
she wasn't smiling now.
"I assure you, I'm weaponless," he said.
Her gaze ducked to the towel, and she smiled. "You're
Connect with Terry
The Blackthorne, Inc. covert ops team is back with another action-adventure
romantic suspense from Terry Odell. This time, it's Computer Nerd meets Cartel
For Jinx, interacting with people is highly overrated. Computers are his life.
On the job, he's an intel gathering expert for Blackthorne, Inc. Off duty, he's
a shooter in computer role playing games. But what happens when he's sent into
the field to face real enemies with real guns?
Josiah Ignatius Nix—Jinx to all who know him—is the glue holding the
Blackthorne, Inc. covert ops teams together when they're on a mission. In the
comfort of his basement office, with his favorite companions—his
computers— a click of the mouse provides him with up-to-the-minute intel,
which keeps the team alive.
Until the intel fails and a hostage rescue mission goes south. Both the hostage
and team are captured, and the boss sends Jinx to the jungles of Mexico as an
undercover field agent. The cartels have been kidnapping American engineers to
build and maintain their private cell phone networks. Jinx's skills make him a
prime target for capture, a way to infiltrate the cartel and rescue not only the
company's client, but also the missing team of operatives.
Soon, he finds himself paired with Elle Sheridan, a cop whose missing sister is
in the middle of a human trafficking ring. Will Elle be able to convince Jinx
that Blackthorne's mission needs to be expanded to include rescuing her sister?
And if she does, will the two of them be able to stay ahead of rival cartel
leaders and get out alive to make some private connections of their own?
Comment to be chosen to win a copy of one of the Blackthorne, Inc. novels,
winners choice (e-book)
31 comments posted.
Re: Terry Odell | Getting Sidetracked Can Be Good
Sounds like a great read. Can't wait to read it.
(Sharon Cook 2:02am November 15, 2013)
Oh my goodness does this book sound like a real page turner or what! I can't wait to read it. Thank you for such wonderful books.
(C Culp 7:02am November 15, 2013)
Thanks, Shannon -- hope you love it.
Carletta - I really enjoyed writing about Jinx.
(Terry Odell 8:34am November 15, 2013)
wow!! sounds really good i cant wait to read thisone
(Denise Smith 9:00am November 15, 2013)
This series sounds very intriguing.
(Pamela Jaenke 10:26am November 15, 2013)
I enjoy your books and feel that this one will be no exception! Thank you for always offering such wonderful reads!
(Vennie Martinisi 11:32am November 15, 2013)
Denise, Pamela - hope you'll enjoy them, and Vennie, I'm glad you've liked my other ones. Hope you'll have some fun with Jinx.
(Terry Odell 11:50am November 15, 2013)
Would like to read.
(Tina Lechuga 1:10pm November 15, 2013)
I love all of your books, Terry, and can't wait to get my very
own copy of this one!
(Karen Cherubino 1:51pm November 15, 2013)
The cover alone makes me want to sit right down and read it from cover to cover. Love your writing. HappyThanksgiving.
(Patricia (Pat) Pascale 2:33pm November 15, 2013)
Sounds like an exciting book, can't wait to read this one.
(Jean Patton 2:43pm November 15, 2013)
Sounds like a great read, can't wait to read it. I've enjoyed
all of your books that I've read.
(Deb Diem 2:53pm November 15, 2013)
Sounds like a great book. Can't wait to read it.
(Susan Clickner 3:09pm November 15, 2013)
Any of them look to be a great read!
(Michelle Schafer 3:11pm November 15, 2013)
Love romantic suspense books... sounds great!
(Colleen Conklin 3:52pm November 15, 2013)
I can't wait to read this one. Keeping my fingers crossed!
(Melanie Backus 4:12pm November 15, 2013)
Karen - thanks. Glad you like the Blackthorne Boys.
Pat - I'll let my cover artist know. He's great!
Jean, Deb, Susan, MIchelle, Colleen, Melanie -- thanks for commenting, and good luck to all!
(Terry Odell 4:26pm November 15, 2013)
Thanks for many hours of enjoyable reading
(Cec Smith 4:37pm November 15, 2013)
Thanks for a chance to win, your books are Awesome!
(Tabitha Keener 6:26pm November 15, 2013)
Thank you! Love your books!
(Jackie Stieghorst 6:47pm November 15, 2013)
Sounds really good, would love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway! Donna Harris
(Donna Harris 8:02pm November 15, 2013)
Looks like a riveting read, I can't wait to turn the pages and
see where it takes me.
(Alyson Widen 8:51pm November 15, 2013)
Wow, Congrats on your new book: DANGEROUS CONNECTIONS. I
love the book cover too! Your new book sounds fascinating
and I would love to win it and read it this Fall. Thank You
very much. Cecilia CECE
(Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez 9:04pm November 15, 2013)
I have the first two books and I still haven't read them yet. I will get to them as soon as everything settle down.
(Kai Wong 10:17pm November 15, 2013)
Cec - nothing better than time spent with a good book.
Tabitha - thanks!
Jackie - I'm so glad to hear it.
Donna -- I hope you'll give some of the Blackthorne Boys a try.
Alyson - hope you enjoy your journey
Cece -- Good luck!
Kai - hope things calm down so you can read.
(Terry Odell 11:00pm November 15, 2013)
This was a great teaser. I am so bummed my laptop died and the library had no copies. I would have gotten an e-copy of this book ASAP if I could sit in a better chair. Luckily it's going to the shop next week. I might have to ask the library to make a purchase request of this series.
(Laura Gullickson 11:08pm November 15, 2013)
Love the premise of a computer geek being without electronics!
(Of course when it happens to little ol' me it's not so hot.
O.O I have to feed my cyber addiction.)
Great excerpt! Thanks for sharing today1
(Glenda Martillotti 11:48pm November 15, 2013)
Laura - computer failure is a bummer for everyone -- but it's better when you can read about it happening to someone else.
Glenda -- my pleasure
(Terry Odell 9:04am November 16, 2013)
Really want to read this series. Would love to win.
Thanks for the great post.
(Brenda Rumsey 11:18am November 16, 2013)
I'm going to love this.
(Mary Preston 7:41am November 17, 2013)
This series sounds delightful and I'd love to win one to get started :-)
Fish out of water stories are always fun.
Thanks for the giveaway.
(Lenna Hendershott 5:02pm November 17, 2013)
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