The Company Store, Book 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Date of Publication: ugust 4, 2013
Number of pages: 140
Word Count: ~49,000
As an agent for an international security firm, Miranda has her hands full. Between secretly lusting after her boss, Garen, and making sure the dirty little secret about her double life as a wolf shifter remains hidden, she’s still a virgin at nearly thirty.Excerpt:
Sent to eliminate the head of a human trafficking organization in Amsterdam, she barely escapes with her life. Injured, frightened, and under attack the second her private jet lands in the U.S., she doesn’t know where to turn.
Garen’s been watching Miranda just as surreptitiously as she’s been eying him. Unfortunately, the fact that she works for him is a showstopper. Plus, Garen has a few secrets of his own that have kept him single. He’s frantic once he discovers his oldest friend is besotted with Miranda, too. When she insists on heading up a covert operation, he’s worried sick, but can’t come up with a plausible reason to stop her.
Miranda’s life is on the line. Will Garen risk exposure to save her?
What could they possibly have to say to one another beyond him apologizing for being swept off his feet by her lithe body and firm curves? No way could he tell her he truly cared about her. Not in light of the revulsion he’d seen mirrored in her face as she stammered through her regrets. She was obviously appalled by what she considered a weakness.Interview:
Garen picked up his headset and settled it into place before walking into the cockpit. He wasn’t certain just what he’d say to Lars. No way he’d be able to hide the lingering scent of sex. He latched the door and sat heavily. For a time neither of them said anything. Garen almost started to believe he could escape a conversation he’d assumed would be inevitable.
“I do not like to pry, but I could smell sex even through door.” Lars glanced at Garen with a knowing grin on his face. “How was she?”
Garen gritted his teeth. “Hot, passionate, delectable.” He inhaled, the air almost painful in his lungs. “But she doesn’t care about me. Said I caught her at a weak moment. Apologized all over the place and said it would never happen again.”
“Hmph. Well, it would be untrue if I said I were sorry.” Lars flicked the front of his pants. “Imagining the two of you fucking got me going. I will need to take care of myself before I escort the fair fraulein anywhere.” A hesitation. “I do not suppose there is any possibility the three of us could—”
“No.” Something about the vehemence in Garen’s tone earned him a penetrating look from Lars.
“Your airplane, my friend. I will be back.”
“Miranda couldn’t wait to get away from me. She might not be done in the head.”
“If she is not, I will wait. Unless you wish to watch me.”
“In a pig’s eye. Go.” Garen waved both hands at Lars. “It’s a good thing we’re friends. My tolerance for perverts is pretty limited.”
“You know you love me.” Lars blew a kiss and exited the cockpit.
Today, we welcome Ann Gimpel to Musings and Ramblings. Let's all give her a big Geeky welcome!
Thanks so much for inviting me. It’s a pleasure to be on your blog.I have some questions for you that are writer specific as well as some fun stuff so that we can really get to know the real you. *grin* Plus we will finish things off with round of Think Fast. Ready to begin?
1. Tell us something about yourself that's not in your bio.
Erk! That’s sort of like a group exercise I used to conduct where I instructed participants to tell about themselves without mentioning their families or what they did for a living. Okay, here goes. I’m a perfectionist. No, really, I am. I have a hard time finally letting go of a manuscript and deciding that even if I found one more typo, it isn’t worth the time/effort since I’ve already read through it a dozen times.2. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I like backpacking, mountaineering, skiing, running, and just about anything that gets me outside. I also like to cook.3. How did you choose the genres you write in?
That’s easy. They’re the same ones I like to read.4. Is there any particular author or book that has influenced you or your writing?
Diana Gabaldon and KM Moning’s Highlander Series. I liked her Fever Series, too, but mostly the first five books.5. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Toughest criticism was that my descriptions were, um, too descriptive. I’ve had to learn pacing and building/holding tension as I write. Best compliments have come from fans who write to tell me how much they love something I’ve written.Fun Stuff
6. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, fictional or real, who would it be and why?
The Dalai Lama because I find him inspirational. He’s just so wise and has lived through so much.7. You are going to be stranded on a deserted island and bring 3 luxury items. What would they be?
Laptop, solar charger, coffee8. Pick two celebrities to be your parents. Who are they and why?
Um, celebrities generally make terrible parents because they’re so ego-centric. If I had to pick a pair, though, it would probably be Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward because they were less impacted by the Hollywood scene than their peers.9. What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Lots of fresh fruit and veggies. Leftover beef fajitas, eggs, milk, cream, yogurt (yup, love my dairy). There’s also a home-baked cherry pie on the counter from yesterday.10. If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
Where do you get these questions??? That’s a hard one, probably for the same reasons social media is tough for me. Maybe a good title would be “Determined,” or else “I can do this.” I have a stubborn streak that goes along with the perfectionism.Think Fast
Summer or Winter? Winter
Coffee or Tea? Tea
Cake or Pie? Pie
Car or Truck? Truck
Print or Electronic? Electronic
Thanks for coming by and spending some time with us. Any final words of wisdom to pass along?
Thanks again for having me. ‘Fraid I’m fresh out of wisdom at the moment. You did a pretty thorough job of making me think!Review:
This is the first book in The Company Store series by Ann Gimpel. It is also the first book that I have read by this author, but I guarantee it won't be the last. I liked the way the author slowly brought us into the secret shifter world. We were given information as we needed it, not just given an info dump. It made the story more about who the characters are and not what the characters are. And who are they? They are secret agent types that work for an international security company that sends them on missions all over the world. They are also a man and woman who have to learn to trust one another and themselves.
We meet Miranda as she is returning to the states after a mission to take out the head of an international human trafficking organization in Amsterdam. Miranda takes a few minutes to fantasize about Garen, her boss and founder/chairman of The Company. She knows that they are fruitless dreams, because Garen has a reputation of barely acknowledging employees until they reached full operative status. Miranda is still just a junior grade agent and has a ways to go. After she factors in being a lycan, her dreams burst as they always do.
When Miranda and her pilot Lars land at JFK, they find out that human trafficking organization known as the International Success Ltd has already beaten them there and killed her new pilot. It seems they have already figured out who she really was and how to track her down. Miranda and Lars are forced to lie low in a safe house until alternate transport is arranged.
Meanwhile Garen, is having a mild freak out. Miranda was the best choice for taking out Derek Roulan, the head of ISL, due to her being the most exotic and seductive female agent. But against his own company policies and personal agenda, Garen was interested in Miranda. In The Company, only those with supernatural abilities make it to full operative status and learn about each other. Garen had tried many ways and times to figure out if Miranda was one of them, but each time she managed to block him. He knows that until he knows for sure, he can't even think of showing an interest in her. But he also can't get her out of his mind and worrying about her is tying him up in knots. When he finds out that Miranda and Lars are together, his jealousy is almost more than he can bear.
I liked that this story was a good mix of action, romance and intrigue all mixed with the paranormal world. Miranda is a strong, kick ass female, an ex-Green Beret. She fights for what she believes in and is side by side with the guys kicking bad guy butt. Garen is an Alpha in every sense of the word, but he doesn't treat Miranda like a moron or a child. He respects her abilities, and although he wants to hide her away and protect her, he knows that she can do a good job of protecting herself. I am going with 3 stars on Goodreads and keeping a look out for book 2 in the series.
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Ann Gimpel is a mountaineer at heart. Recently retired from a long career as a psychologist, she remembers many hours at her desk where her body may have been stuck inside four walls, but her soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), she managed to finagle moving to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains. It was during long backcountry treks that Ann’s writing evolved. Unlike some who see the backcountry as an excuse to drag friends and relatives along, Ann prefers her solitude. Stories always ran around in her head on those journeys, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made her fear for her life, sometimes for company. Eventually, she returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. Oh, it wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. And, she learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel.
Around that time, a friend of hers suggested she try her hand at short stories. It didn’t take long before that first story found its way into print and they’ve been accepted pretty regularly since then. One of Ann’s passions has always been ecology, so her tales often have a green twist.
In addition to writing, Ann enjoys wilderness photography. She lugs pounds of camera equipment in her backpack to distant locales every year. A standing joke is that over ten percent of her pack weight is camera gear which means someone else has to carry the food! That someone is her husband. They’ve shared a life together for a very long time. Children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out their family.
To connect with the author online:
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