Welcome to my stop on Mandy Baggot’s Virtual Book Tour for Security. Please leave a comment or question for Mandy below to let her know you stopped by.
Guest Post - How to meet deadlines and remain sane! by Mandy Baggot
You know it’s there and it’s looming. So why is it all you really want to do is watch You Tube videos of dancing dogs/talking cats/buff fire-fighters? The key to meeting deadlines and staying sane is:-
At the beginning you have a deadline and it seems so far away. You have plenty of time, eons of it, you might even deliver early. But as life ticks on, time starts to slip away and you feel the ground being pulled from under you. Why does this happen? The reason I think it happens is because we’re far too hard on ourselves. For me the best option is little and often. Realistically I know I am not going to write a novel by blasting out 10,000 words a day for 8 days. I do know however that I should be able to write 1,000 words a day and still retain a grip on all the other jobs I have to fit in. Build a foundation and layer it up.
The worst thing to do is force yourself to write your book because of a word count fear. If things are getting sticky watch that You Tube video of buff fire-fighters or that re-run of Dallas. Stepping away from the situation for half an hour or so will mean you come back to the task reinvigorated. Treats are also a good way to get those words on the page. If you hit your daily word count – reward yourself. It might be a glass of wine or a bar of chocolate or whatever takes your fancy. Celebrate every achievement and it will drive you forward towards the bigger goal.
Share the experience
All writers have different methods for project planning. Try asking writer friends how they manage their workload and make sure they hit deadlines. You might find they have some helpful tips or just maybe you might realize their approach to deadlines is a lot worse than yours *smug face*.
This is the absolute last resort. If you’ve planned and written steadily and you still haven’t finished then you need a lock down! Take away ALL distractions – no TV, no internet, no music, no children, no phone – just you and your novel until it’s done. When you think about it, being locked in a room with your characters doesn’t sound too bad does it? You might not want to come out again!
by Mandy Baggott
Publisher: Saphire Star Publishing
Release date: April 1, 2013
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: 354 Pages
Amazon Print Kindle Nook
Autumn Raine is a pop vocalist at the very top of her game. She's a style icon, the paparazzi's darling and everyone wants to be her friend. But when her safety is threatened, her whole life starts to unravel.
Eluding kidnap and trying to stay alive, can Autumn find the strength to be the person she longs to be? And can two people, poles apart, forge something strong enough to survive anything?
“Room service,” the voice called from outside in the hall.
“Please, tell me you didn’t order fucking room service,” Nathan hissed to her.
She was shaking, loitering by the bathroom door, not knowing what to do. She shook her head at him. His eyes were on her all the time. She’d not had the means to call room service even if she’d wanted to.
Nathan reached out and put his hand on the doorknob, preparing to open it. Autumn took a step back into the bathroom and squeezed her eyes tight shut. What should she do? She’d not been in a situation like this before. Should she pick up something to use as a weapon? There was a choice of a toilet brush or a razor she would have to unwrap from its plastic wrapping. She heard the door open, flipped her eyelids up and took a deep breath, waiting.
“Room service, Mr. Martin. Two full English breakfasts,” the voice announced.
“You must have the wrong room. I didn’t order breakfast, and I’m here alone. The name’s Shepherd,” Nathan replied.
“Oh, I do apologize, sir. I’ll go check the order with the kitchen. Sorry for any inconvenience.”
“Not a problem.”
She heard the door close and Nathan practically ripped the bathroom door from its hinges as he came to find her.
“We’re leaving. Get everything you came with. Leave nothing,” he ordered.
He’d noticed the black transit van pull into the car park earlier. Two men had left it. One returned fifteen minutes later and had been sitting in it ever since. The man seemed to be reading a newspaper, but he also kept looking at his watch and checking his rear view mirror. It wasn’t normal behavior for a normal person. It was, however, normal behavior for someone in a similar line of work to his.
Autumn was counting aloud as she checked and re-checked the small room. She didn’t have anything apart from that bloody purse and the stupid fucking designer hat, but he had to ensure she was alert to everything he said. The next time he asked her to get her stuff together, it might be a life or death situation. For now, they only had time against them.
She muttered to herself, breathing like an exhausted greyhound, gripping the purse as if it could save her life just by being close to her chest. Suddenly, he felt sorry for her. Yes, she was an irritating spoiled bitch, but looking at her now, all he saw was a terrified young woman. A beautiful, terrified young woman.
“Now, you do exactly what I say, is that clear?” he barked at Autumn as they waited at the fire exit that led out toward the car park.
Her head was spinning, she felt sick, and she had a run in her stockings. She couldn’t stop looking at it as it seemed to be growing by the second.
“Autumn, you need to listen to me if you want to stay safe.” Nathan took hold of her wrist.
She raised her head to meet his eyes with hers, and she nodded like a programmed robot.
“Right. Now, when I open this door, I want you behind me, holding on to my belt, head down, making for the car, okay? Don’t look up, just walk quickly and keep hold of me,” he said.
“You think there’s someone outside, don’t you?” Autumn asked through chattering teeth. “That’s why you were looking out the window.”
“That’s my concern, not yours. Head down, make for the car, keep hold of me,” he said again.
He took her hands and pressed them to the leather belt at his waistband. His shirt wasn’t quite tucked in properly, and her fingertips touched the skin at his back. She shut her eyes and bit her teeth together, preparing herself for everything and nothing, all at the same time.
She felt him push the bar on the door, then, all at once, he strode off. The speed of his movement surprised her. She clung to his belt and tried to keep up with his pace.
She kept her head down, looking at the ground as Nathan hurried them toward his car. Paving stones turned into gritty tarmac. Her fingers chafed on the leather belt she suspected wasn’t really leather, and her heart beat a fast flamenco in her chest.
She heard the car door open. Nathan turned to face her, took her hands off his waistband, and pushed her down into the car. She clutched her purse and blinked to refocus on the outside.
Suddenly, a flash went off in her face, and a camera appeared at her passenger window. She let out a scream of terror, her hand instinctively reaching for the lock on the door. She couldn’t breathe, and her heart was racing again, but she watched as Nathan tackled the photographer to the ground and drew his weapon.
The paparazzo looked terrified. His eyes bulged, and with Nathan’s left hand around his throat and his right directing a gun at his temple, it was hardly surprising. But Autumn looked again at the photographer, and this time recognized him. He was paparazzi. He’d photographed her many times, and he was one of the faces she saw in the crowd at all her personal appearances.
She unlocked the car door and tentatively stepped out. “He’s a photographer,” she stated to Nathan.
He had his knee in the middle of the poor man’s chest, probably cutting off his air and crushing his rib cage.
“Having a camera doesn’t make you a photographer. Get in the car, Autumn.”
“I’ve seen him before,” Autumn said as she leaned over him. “He’s paparazzi. He’ll have ID. If you get off him, he can show you.”
He attempted to nod his head despite the restrictions on his neck, but Nathan held firm.
“Let him go, for God’s sake, you’re hurting him,” Autumn said.
The photographer was starting to splutter, and his face was turning an awful shade of mauve.
"Get in the car, Autumn. That's an order." Nathan spat, turning to face her.
About the Author
Mandy Baggot is a self-confessed Twitter addict who likes to sing on You Tube. She regularly guests on book blogs and is a featured author on the innovative website loveahappyending.com. She is also a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
Mandy lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband and two daughters.
Twitter Handle: @mandybaggot
A pop music diva, a government agent turned body guard, and a terrorist group looking for leverage, are all part of Mandy Baggot’s romantic suspense, Security. Well developed characters, good dialogue and plenty of action, kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next. After all, it’s not every day you get to see inside the life of a pop star – even if she’s just a part of fiction.
Autumn Raine appears to have it all; a successful career as a pop star, money and two nominations for music awards. She’s also got a demanding mother, a publicity hounding assistant and a boyfriend who wants her to help him promote his album. She hadn’t planned on getting death threats thanks to her mother’s job as a member of the British cabinet. Hiring another bodyguard wasn’t on Autumn’s to do list, at least until she meets Nathan Regan, the government agent assigned to take charge of her security.
A government agent brought in when things get dicey, Nathan Regan isn’t thrilled to be tasked with guarding a “Pop Diva”. Especially one who keeps telling him she doesn’t need his help. When Nathan realizes the threats are real, and are being issued by a terrorist organization he’s dealt with before, he’s determined to keep Autumn safe and bring down the terrorists while he’s doing it.
The scenes between Autumn and Nathan are fun, full of sexual and emotional tension, and also have plenty of action. When things get really rough, Autumn and Nathan will have to put their differences aside to make it out alive. They’ll also have to decide if their physical attraction is worth giving into. Ms. Bagott does a good job developing her characters and dealing with their emotional issues. I especially liked how much Autumn grows through what she and Nathan are forced to go through and how Nathan is forced to realize that loving someone is worth the risk.
Will Autumn and Nathan be kidnapped and survive, or will one, or both of them end up making the ultimate sacrifice? Read Security to find out. I enjoyed it and I think you will too.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Crowns
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.