Newsletter Contest Winner and Survey Results

Congratulations to Vanessa for winning the Winter 2018 newsletter contest!

I also have the poll results regarding the covers of my upcoming books in The Hackers series.  I’m happy to report that you like them!

Question: What do you think of the covers?

  • I like the final ones you chose from Artist 1 –  99%
  • I like the covers from Artist 2 better – <1%
  • I like Artist 1’s covers, but you should have kept the original image – <1%
  • I would have tried a third cover artist. – <1%

Excerpt from Hacking IT

Coming February 8!

Kimberly Dean, Copyright 2018

His gaze snapped up and encountered wide green eyes. She’d finally noticed him standing there.

The air between them snapped.

“We’re closed,” she said sharply.

As if that would make him go away. He frowned. He knew the building hours better than anyone. He set the door systems around this place, but telling a would-be intruder that you were alone was the last thing she should be doing.

Unfortunately for her, he wasn’t an intruder.

“Are you Kylie Grant?”

She lowered her feet to the floor and balanced on her toes. “Who wants to know?”

Her laptop was still open, and her fingers were poised on the keyboard. Well, that was a bit smarter of her. She could call for help faster than she could run.

“Luke McAllister,” he said. “Head of security at Afire Industries.”

Her heels slowly lowered to the floor, and the fearful look on her face shifted to one of suspicion. She knew why he was here.

Damn. He’d found himself wishing his team had been wrong.

“I’m legit,” she said. She lifted the badge that was clipped to the pocket of her jeans and let the retractable string snap back into place. “I rent space here.”

“I’m aware of that.” He glanced around the coworking area. It was as nice as anything within Afire’s main building. The company had managed to secure prime space in Seattle by renovating an old fish cannery that other businesses had turned up their noses at. The building that housed Start ’er Up had been the gas station/auto repair shop next door. Realtors were only now beginning to catch on to the new wave of things. Tech companies like Afire didn’t want skyscrapers. They eschewed anything corporate and stuffy. They wanted comfortable spaces they could refurbish into something cool and current. Instead of cubicles, they liked cubbyholes for conversations, quiet window seats for introverts, big whitewalls for brainstorming, and warm fireplaces for… whatever she was doing…

She’d better not be in Afire’s systems again.

He bounced his heel against the wall behind him. He wanted to know what she’d been doing in their network in the first place. From the information he’d been given about her, she was a small fish playing in a very big pond. How had a web designer gotten past Afire’s security? What would somebody like her hope to find in Afire’s network? Their client list? Trade secrets?

Who knew? But she’d gotten in. That was more than anybody else had been able to do.

“I’m in charge of all security for Afire—building and digital,” he said. “Somebody over here has been poking around at our firewalls.”

Her green eyes sparked, but she stayed quiet. His fingers tightened against his elbows.

“Do you know anything about that?” he asked.

“It took you long enough to notice.”

Luke’s back teeth clenched. His team had been functioning on high alert all day, ever since the hack had been discovered midmorning. “You wanted to get caught?”

Her jaw dropped. “Me?” She stared at him in disbelief. “You think I did it?”

He knew she’d done it. His top guy had shown him the proof.

“My team identified your digital fingerprints from last night pretty easily. You’re a known user on Start ’er Up’s network. Did you think we couldn’t easily identify who you were?”

She eased back into the cushions, the surprise gone from her face. Something else had taken its place, but he didn’t know her well enough to figure out what it was. The cool, almost scary calmness could be guilt, fear…

“That’s cute. You think you were hacked last night.”

Or disdain.

His inner antenna went on the alert.

She pushed her hair back over her shoulder as she shook her head. She’d gone quiet again, but he could see it now. Disgust and simmering anger. Oh yeah. He could more than see it; he could feel it. What had Afire done to tick her off so badly?

“Are you saying you were in our systems before that?”

She gave him a deadpan look. “Your geniuses looked really deep, didn’t they?”

Luke pushed away from the wall. This was not a game. He knew these tech types. They liked to test one another and challenge each other’s skills, but this was a Fortune 100 company they were messing with—a company he was responsible for protecting. He gripped the back of the overstuffed chair closest to her, his fingers biting deep. “What did you want them to find?”

An Easter egg of some sort? Some stupid tic-tac-toe game?

She held his gaze until he felt a fire light deep in his gut.

“If I told you, what fun would that be?”

Her voice sounded like bourbon on the rocks. Smooth, with just a tinge of huskiness. Yet underneath it all was a challenge.

“What did you do?” he demanded. “If you endangered our software or any of our clients, so help me, you won’t be seeing the light of day from your jail cell.”

The room went quiet, except for the popping in the fireplace. Just when Luke thought she might be about to admit something, she batted her eyelashes at him.

“Did I do something wrong? I was just trying to connect to a printer.”

He straightened, his heart pounding too hard. Now he knew something bigger was afoot. Something his team hadn’t told him about or, worse, had missed.


Download ebook:  KindleKindle UKNookGoogle PlayiBooksKobo

Hacking IT Goodreads #GIVEAWAY

I’d like to get some advanced reading reviews for Hacking IT, so I’m giving away 100 copies over at Goodreads.  You’ll get the ebook before everybody else if you’re one of the lucky 100 who are chosen.  All that’s asked is that you give an honest review of the book once you’ve read it.  Come get ’em while they’re hot.


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Hacking IT by Kimberly Dean

Hacking IT

by Kimberly Dean

Giveaway ends February 05, 2018.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Hacking IT – Coming February 8 #newbook

Hacking IT

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date:  February 8, 2018

Independent software developer Kylie Grant is on top of her game in the world of IT. She has loyal clients, a good reputation, and a prestigious membership in technology giant Afire Industries’ small business accelerator. Things are going well until she stumbles across an innocuous issue with the lighting in the building where she rents space. When she digs into the problem, she discovers something unexpected—a hack.

The incursion doesn’t affect her, but Kylie leaves enough clues to fix the problem. That earns her a visit from Luke McAllister, Afire’s chief security officer. Luke is handsome and rugged and everything that Kylie likes in a man, but she soon finds that he is blaming her for the security breach. Before long, the two are on a collision course, but also secretly looking at more than each other’s digital footprints.

When a fluke accident sends Kylie to the emergency room, Luke fears that the beautiful developer is in danger beyond the online world. Little does he know that she is also hiding a secret that threatens to jeopardize their now sizzling relationship. Can Kylie fix Afire’s problems without falling victim to the hacker? And can Luke learn to trust her and keep her safe before their enemy strikes again?

Download ebook:  KindleKindle UKNookGoogle PlayiBooksKobo

Tis The Season

for shopping, wrapping presents, putting up lights, singing carols, drinking cocoa, and so much more.  It’s hard to keep writing and blogging when things get so busy, but I’m making progress.  I’m starting to think of finishing my current work-in-progress as a Christmas present to myself.  That would be joyous, if I can make it happen.  What about you?  Do you sneak in a present for yourself this time of year?  What’s your self-indulgent treat?

Image result for present

Psychic Storytellers

I got adventurous today and went to a psychic fair.  I explored booths, listened to speakers, and got some readings.  I like to stay open-minded about things, and I take it all with a grain of salt.  For me, it’s entertainment.  Yes, there are charlatans out there, but I think others might have gifts.

The one thing that occurred to me is what good storytellers these people are.  They look to see what effect their stories are having upon their clients and try to tap into different emotions.  Can you imagine coming up with different stories all day long at one of these things?  People linger and listen in on other’s sessions, so they can’t stick with one story all day long.  I would have so much trouble doing this!  Maybe some authors have story ideas flying at them all the time, but mine take more time and cultivation.  Even those psychics who are truly seeing into a person’s life need to be able to communicate what they see in an effective way.  The better the story, the stronger the emotions and the more value people place on it.

There were some common themes that I heard today: that I’m strong and that I need to relax.  Those resonated with me, but made me wonder if I didn’t put enough concealer on my under-eye circles.  I try not to give them any hints.  An astrologist totally tapped into the fact that I write, but numerology was a bust for me.  My “life path” number is not me.  At all.  So there it was.  Some stories worked for me and others didn’t, but I like that they all tried.  I think that’s the part I like best, seeing storytelling in a different form.

Fall 2017 Newsletter Contest Winner & Survey Results

Susan W. won the Halloween gift bag prize for newsletter subscribers.  Congratulations, Susan!

The results are also in for the survey, and your answer was resounding.  The question was:

Do you like holiday-themed romance stories?

Yes   83%
No     3%
Depends on if they’re any good    14%

So we like them, but they’d better be good!  Thanks for participating.

What Dreams May Come

I don’t know if it’s because I’m back to working on the Dream Weaver series, but I’ve been paying more attention to my dreams.  I’ve always dreamed a lot.  I can dream some really bizarre dreams, but the most common is finding new rooms in my house and wondering why I never use them.  What’s struck me recently, though, is the feelings the dreams leave me with.

Dream researchers say that the dreams you remember are the ones that you wake up from.  Recently, I haven’t been able to remember what I was dreaming, but boy… the emotions.  I’ve woken up recently feeling “all the feels.”  I’m not an emotional person, typically, but these feelings that the dreams are leaving are intense.  I’ve woken up feeling sad or wistful or poignant.  I know that’s not a good adjective to use there, but that was the essence of the feeling.  It’s weird, because I don’t remember the dream that left me feeling this way — and I’m waking up in a mood. It’s the first thing in the morning.  I don’t want to wake up sad.

Fortunately, the feelings tend to go away quickly. My most common problem with sleep has always been insomnia. So I’m dreaming things that touch on my feelings.  I can’t complain. At least I’m sleeping.

Have you ever experienced this?  Do you remember your dreams?  Or am I just becoming a big old softy?