An ensemble cast. Different authors writing each story. One FBI unit of crime-solving experts.
I loved the concept Harlequin brought to me and three other authors, but I was also nervous. I’d written short stories that wove into a connected anthology more than once, but never full-length novels. But the process worked out very well in the end.
All the authors – me, Carla Cassidy, Nichole Severn, and Cindi Myers – were given a “series bible.” That provided the overarching concept, highlights about the main characters, and details about how the series would work. As each author worked on their own story (simultaneously, though the books were released over four months), we updated the bible with more details. We also connected online and over chats, to make sure all the characters and the unit felt consistent.
In the end, what we created feels like TV series with an ensemble cast where one member might take the lead in any given episode (think crime-solving series like Criminal Minds, CSI, or NCIS). So, while my hero takes center stage in Secret Investigation (book 2 in the miniseries – which I wrote), the heroes and heroines from the other authors’ books also had background roles – and vice versa.
The covers for all of the books reflect this unique format. Each primary character gets center stage on the cover, but below is part of the ensemble cast. They’re all members of the FBI’s Tactical Crime Division, a rapid response team that’s ready to provide expertise in remote locations, for difficult crimes. Given the nature of their jobs, they’re all intelligent, focused, dedicated professionals. The only thing that might disrupt their focus? Well, love, of course!
Here are some of the FBI professionals who make up the Knoxville branch of TCD:
Weapons expert Davis Rogers: The hero of SECRET INVESTIGATION (book 2, by Elizabeth Heiter) is a former Army Ranger who goes undercover to find the person responsible for a friend’s death and then falls in love with the CEO of a bulletproof armor company – who could blow his cover if he makes one wrong move.
Hostage negotiator Evan “the Closer” Duran: The hero of 48 HOUR LOCKDOWN (book 1, by Carla Cassidy) travels to a school full of geniuses to negotiate with hostage takers, but he finds one of the teachers taken hostage is a former love.
Kidnapping and ransom specialist Ana Sofia Ramirez: The heroine of MIDNIGHT ABDUCTION (book 3, by Nichole Severn) is usually cool under pressure, but then she has to help a frantic father recover his missing twins.
Undercover operative Laura “Smitty” Smith: The heroine of RUNNING OUT OF TIME (book 4, by Cindi Myers) has to investigate a series of poisonings, but things get more challenging when it requires pretending to be married to a fellow TCD agent.
Each of the books stand alone, but they’re also available as a special e-book bundle in LAST RESORT: THE TACTICAL CRIME DIVISION COLLECTION!