Monday, September 19, 2016

A Man in Uniform

. . . Kari Phillips has sworn off alpha men, thanks to a childhood spent raising four sisters while her dad served in the Air Force and her mom was unable to cope with his deployments. Vowing never to follow in her mom’s footsteps, Kari has become a driven, successful attorney. On her way to Tokyo to rescue her best friend’s wedding, she meets a cocky F-15 pilot headed to the same ceremony. When he finagles a seat next to her on the flight, she vows if he gives her any grief, she’ll shove him out of the emergency exit without a parachute.
. . . Major Steve Shorner, a patriotic warrior fulfilling his lifelong dream as a fighter pilot, is finding it tough to live down a couple of practical jokes. Before he heads to Tokyo to be his buddy’s best man, Steve’s commander assigns him to a no-win project in Japan, and links the outcome to Steve’s tryout for the Thunderbirds, the AF’s elite demo team. But after a chance meeting with a beautiful redhead at the airport, Steve acquires a new goal—convince the sexy, workaholic lawyer to bend her rule against military men.

Adhering to the adage 'there's nothing like a man in uniform', Wild Women Authors welcomes CJ Matthew and Major Steve Shorner from CJ's upcoming release A Major Seduction. As usual we'll begin with Steve.
Where are you from? I was born and raised on the family ranch in the great state of Texas. Right now I’m stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force base in North Carolina.
Tell us a bit about A Major Seduction. The story starts out when Kari and I met at the Atlanta airport on the way to Tokyo. She was going to be the maid of honor and leaving early to rescue her best friend’s wedding. I was on TDY before standing up for my buddy as his best man at the same wedding.
What did you think the first time you saw Kari Phillips? Obviously the woman is beautiful, but loaded down with carry-ons and a huge garment bag? I figured she could use a lesson in efficient packing. 
Clearly you've never packed for a wedding, Major. And your second thought? After I overheard the phone conversation between Kari and one of her sisters, I realized we were headed to the same ceremony and I’d better not step out of line. Too much.
What do you like most about Kari? Besides how beautiful she is? Kari’s smart and funny and a terrific friend.
How would you describe her? She is tall and sexy, red hair, smart as a whip, driven but when she relaxes she has a great sense of humor, and she’s real thoughtful of others.
That's nice. How would she describe you? She says we’re alike when it comes to commitment to our careers. She noticed my buzz cut right away and it put her off. I know she likes that I’m taller than she is. Tells me she likes my smile and dimples.
What made you choose flying for the Air Force as a career? Once I’d flown in a small plane as a youngster, I had no other choice. Had to learn to fly and keep flying. I’m honored to be in the front seat of a Strike Eagle and go where my country needs me.
What is your biggest fear? Snakes. I can’t abide snakes.
Been there. How do you relax? Top of the list is dancing with Kari. I also like working out, running. Love having a beer with buddies, football.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Got to admire Jack Reacher. The man can handle himself, and he’s handy with weapons. Mostly he can think his way out of a problematic situation.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? One AF trainer told us: after a mission, a pilot needs to review his actions. Acknowledge and learn from any mistakes. Resolve to do even better next time.
This has been great, Steve. Thank you. We'd like to talk to CJ now.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? I love reading contemporary romance, especially Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Nora Roberts. I watch so many films it’s hard to pin down one or two. I try to file away as much as I can of the parts and scenes in movies that I especially like.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? For this novel especially, my first, I drew heavily from personal experience. I grew up an air force brat and we lived in Tokyo for several years. To bring me up-to-date on the air force, I toured SJAFB and interviewed several pilots and a WSO. From there, it was fun to weave a fictional love story set in Tokyo.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? My books are self-published. I wrote the first version of A Major Seduction in 2008 and in 2014 I signed with a literary agent. But in spring of 2015, I decided to self-publish all the books I’d written over that period: 5 stories in my Dolphin Shore Shifter series, 1 Romantic Suspense in the Paladin Group series and now I’m releasing the first book I ever wrote, book 1 of the Colonel’s Daughters quintet, A Major Seduction.
Gotta admire a woman who doesn't give up. What project[s] are you working on now? I am writing book 2 of the Paladin Group, Survival Reboot. Looking forward to finishing book 2 of the Colonel’s Daughters quintet, Compromising the Captain, set in London, Paris and Las Vegas.
Sounds great. What's up next for you? I’m developing a fantasy time travel series.

CJ brought along an excerpt for A Major Seduction:
     As the airport security line slowed, Kari’s cell phone rang somewhere deep in an out-of-reach pocket. The tote bag shoulder strap took another dive and abruptly stopped its fall with a heavy jolt on her elbow. What was it with this bag? Now, with every movement, the bulky monster bumped into her knee.
     Kari stopped. Bending over to dig for her phone, she followed the “New York, New York” ringtone. “Damn it,” she whispered.
     “Need some help?” A deep voice rumbled from somewhere close. She glanced up. Way up. And stared. The man…gorgeous. A magazine model? Maybe not with that blond hair cut extremely short. Uh-oh. Possibly the first strike against him. He looked military.
     As an air force brat, she knew how frequently men with domineering and controlling traits joined the service. Her own mother had been hard-pressed to cope with her dad, the Colonel’s, overpowering personality. Since Kari was determined not to follow in Mom’s footsteps, she simply avoided men in uniform.
     Still, she had to admire the man’s strong chin and classically handsome features. Her gaze slid down to broad shoulders, trim waist, then stalled. Darted back up. Whoa, his eyes were the exact color of warm chocolate.
     Wait…here was half a strike. His eyes were framed by impossibly long lashes. Unfair, wasted on a male.
     He met her gaze, smiled, and said, “Could I help with the bag while you find your phone?”
     Her heart cart-wheeled. As his smile grew, a deep dimple appeared in each cheek, punctuating his full lips. Wow, a tall, helpful man with sexy dimples. Her phone quit ringing. Kari felt the telltale warmth of a blush spread across her neck and up her face.
     Locating her cell, she shook her head at her tall neighbor. “Thanks. I’ve got it now.” Seeing the picture of her baby sister, Deborah, on the screen, Kari punched Recall.
     Since the hunk behind her only scored one and a half strikes, she surreptitiously completed her inventory and reached her verdict: the man was a total hottie. But what about the drastic buzz cut? If it wasn’t military, he might be law enforcement. Not worth the risk.

Major Seduction: Pre-order for Release date: October 14, 2016:

To learn more about CJ Matthew and the stories she creates, go to:


  1. Sounds like a super conflict ripe for romance and I love the exotic setting--Japan! Best wishes with all your endeavors.

    1. Hi, Susan
      thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. CJ and I appreciate it.

  2. Sounds like a great read. Hope you have wonderful sales.

    1. Hi, Katherine
      thanks so much for visiting. It's been a long time since you stopped by.