Friendship and Family, with Virginia Kelly (with Rafflecopter giveaway)

VirginiaKelly I’m excited to have my new friend and fellow Entangled Ignite author Virginia Kelly on my blog today. Virginia’s latest book, In the Arms of a Stranger, has just been released and is available at all major e-tailers.

Here’s a little about Virginia:

An RWA Golden Heart® finalist, Virginia Kelly’s first book was published as To the Limit and finaled in several contests such as the Holt Medallion, The Golden Quill and The Aspen Gold.

Virginia has always loved adventure novels, but romance is at the core of her stories—romance with the adrenalin rush of danger. Against the Wind, a full-length novel, and Dancing in the Dark, the prequel novella to In the Arms of a Stranger, are about dangerous men and the adventurous women willing to take a chance on them.

Traveling is a passion that came early in life. Her first airplane ride was a trip over the Andes Mountains in Peru at the ripe old age of two months. Her travels provide the settings for her novels, whether it’s a fictitious Latin American country based on Peru, the country of her birth, or Florida and the American South where she now lives.

A graduate of the University of Alabama with a master’s degree in Library Science, Virginia is an academic librarian. She tries to include a librarian in all of her books as either the heroine or as a minor character. Having taught high school and college, she has a great appreciation for teachers and often uses that as the profession for her heroines.

Welcome, Virginia. The blog is yours. Take it away!

Friendship and Family: a Novella and a Novel
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, most of us start thinking about friends and family and reunions. We reach out and make plans in an effort to connect over good food, memories and thanksgiving. But what about friends and family in fiction?

When I wrote IN THE ARMS OF A STRANGER, my latest release, I created characters whose backgrounds didn’t all fit into the book. Friends and family are left out for purpose of moving the story along. It’s clear that Abby Price, the heroine, has a brother and friends. We meet them, if only briefly. My hero, JP Blackmon, also has a family and friends; they just didn’t fit into the story.

As I developed JP, my ex-soldier turned CIA operative, into a full-fledged character, I had questions. Why did JP join the Army? What or who started him on that journey? The answer was a friend from his home town.

I grew curious about this friend. As I sat by my window one very rainy day, I “met” Matt Kincaid. Matt and JP were close even though Matt’s a bit older, so it was natural for JP to follow Matt into the Army. Suddenly, I had to write Matt’s story. I write romance so I had to have a heroine for Matt. Well, if JP and Matt were friends, what about JP’s family? He has two sisters. One, Janey, fit the bill perfectly. She’s had a long-time crush on Matt who was going to take her to senior prom. Problem: he was called up and had to leave. Like JP, Matt moved from the Army to the CIA. When he did come home for visits, he kept his relationship with Janey friendly. He decided that his life and job simply wouldn’t be good for her.

When Janey learns that JP is missing, she decides to confront Matt to ask if he can help her find out what’s happened. She waits for him when he returns from an overseas operation. Under normal circumstances, Matt would have explained that there was nothing he could do and would have sent her home. But fate intervened.

Remember, I’m sitting by my window watching it rain as I wrote the story. There’s a flooding rain in my characters’ hometown, too. So now, Matt and Janey are trapped together. She’s stronger and more determined than Matt ever imagined. He can’t tell her much about her missing brother, but before he knows it, he’s giving her that prom night they missed. And their long simmering attraction explodes in DANCING IN THE DARK.

IN THE ARMS OF A STRANGER completes the story arc of the question raised in DANCING IN THE DARK: what happened to JP Blackmon? In a way, the stories complete each other, complete the circle of friendship between JP and Matt.

And isn’t that what friends and family do? They allow us to get together, to rehash old stories, tell new ones, and complete the circle that is made up of family and friends. I wish you, your family and friends happy memories.

InTheArmsOfAStranger_forVirginiaIn the Arms of a Stranger

A dangerous man on the run…
Wounded and accused of treason, CIA operative JP Blackmon is on the run from his own agency and desperate to clear his name. When he finds out his old partner is dead, he’ll do anything to get to the truth…including using his partner’s widow.

Finds a vulnerable woman looking for answers…
Abby Price wanted nothing more than a family and a safe home. But her late husband kept big secrets from her—secrets that got him killed and has government agents watching her every move. And she’s started fearing for her life. The only man who can help her is a mysterious stranger who suddenly appears out of nowhere. But can she trust him?

Together they discover a passion worth dying for.
As danger stalks them at every turn, unexpected passion flares between JP and Abby. But the last thing either wants or needs is more complications. Romance? No. Way. That would involve trust—something neither is willing to do. But in the end, sharing their deadly secrets is their only hope for survival…their only hope to hold onto the love they’ve just begun to share…


“Is JP your real name?”

He smiled, and she realized she hadn’t seen one of his real smiles before. This one lit up his face, made his eyes laugh. There was devilment in the smile. “I don’t know you well enough to tell you that yet.”


The look of him, the timbre of his voice, as if he really would know her well enough to—

Her breath caught. She couldn’t look away. That well?

She wanted to frown, to be outraged. But his eyes… Good heavens, his eyes. Everything about him, from his short dark hair, to his smile, to his broad shoulders, he was all captivating male.

Instead, she laughed. It was a totally unexpected reaction. She’d never reacted to anyone the way she did to JP. If that was his name…

And what came out of her mouth next was a total surprise. “When do you think you will?”

In the Arms of a Stranger is available from Amazon
Barnes&Noble and iBooks

Thanks so much for spending this time with me, Virginia.

You can learn more about Virginia and her books here:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friendship and Family, with Virginia Kelly (with Rafflecopter giveaway) — 1 Comment