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Author Interview ft Morgan Malone | Taking Control: Rick's Story Blog Tour | PUMP UP YOUR BOOK Presents Contemporary #Romance

Taking Control: Rick's Story by Morgan Malone, Contemporary Romance, 170 pp., $10.99 (paperback) $2.99 (Kindle) ...

Taking Control: Rick's Story by Morgan Malone, Contemporary Romance, 170 pp., $10.99 (paperback) $2.99 (Kindle)

Author: Morgan Malone
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 170
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Summer on the Jersey Shore and all Rick Sheridan wants is some solitude at his beach house. Then he spots a lean, leggy blonde coming out of the surf and his plans are shot to hell. And the dangerous looking knife strapped to her arm tells him this is no damsel in distress. As a not-so retired Marine, at 51, Rick’s learned that nothing is for certain, plans can spin out of control and shit happens.

Wounded and weary from one too many wars, Britt Capshaw thought a summer at the Shore, hanging out in her family’s beach cottage, would help her heal. And figure out what to do with the rest of her life. Out of the military, disillusioned and distrustful of any two-legged male, Britt’s one love is Alex, the yellow Labrador retriever she rescued from Afghanistan.

Rick and Britt are immediately attracted to one another, but after years in combat, they are wary of letting down their guard, of giving up control. The summer heats up and fireworks are flying between them even after the Fourth of July. But, ghosts from their pasts haunt them and finally bring them face to face with some dark secrets that may destroy the fragile trust they’ve built.

Can Britt trust Rick with her dangerous past? Will Rick be able to let go of the rigid control he needs to keep Britt and himself safe from more heartbreak? These two brave souls fight against surrendering their hearts and finally finding love. Who will win?



He stood before the French doors to the deck, with a large mug of steaming black brew cradled in his hands, letting its warmth take away some of the chill that had surrounded him for the last several months. I’m freezing. And it’s not the air-conditioning. It’s my damn frozen heart. Rick pushed the doors open, letting the heat of the sun and the smell of the ocean sweep into his house. He stepped outside, breathing deep, relaxing just a little. Yeah. This is what I need. A summer at the Shore, a few projects, and plenty of quiet—then I’ll be back to my old self. Chuckling as he mentally reminded himself of just how “old” his self was, Rick raised the cup to take a long sip of coffee.

He saw the figure emerging from the waves almost directly in front of his cottage at the same moment he heard the loud barking of a nearby dog.

What the hell?

She was a modern-day Botticelli’s Venus, with the waves foaming around her legs. Long, long legs, lean and tan, disappeared into a bright blue bikini bottom, just visible under the blue and white swim T-shirt that covered a long, muscular torso. Her arms were raised, her hands brushed back sodden strands of platinum blond hair. A swim mask dangled from her left elbow, dropping down into her hand as she lowered her arms. When she stepped from the surf, the woman gave an all-over body shake, drops of ocean water flying off her, glistening for an instant like diamonds in the early morning sun. Then she dropped to her knees so suddenly that Rick lurched forward, splashing coffee as he looked down for a place to leave the heavy mug before he rushed to her aid.

He needn’t have bothered. From the deck of the cottage to his left, a huge yellow dog was bounding down the wooden stairs two at a time in a mad dash to the woman. She stretched out her arms to the animal just before the happy hound collided into her, rolling her into the sand. The woman’s laugh floated on the ocean breeze. Rick straightened, still grasping his cup of coffee and stepped back into the shadows cast over his deck by the second-floor balcony. From his vantage point, he watched the woman ruffle the dog’s fur, the animal prancing and shaking in spasms of pure pleasure. When had he ever experienced such unfettered joy? Rick couldn’t remember. A long, long time ago…maybe.

Who was she? The owners of the cottage next door were an older couple who spent half the year in Florida and half the year on the Shore. Could she be a granddaughter or niece? Or had the couple decided to rent this year? Rick made a mental note to contact his property manager who handled many of the shore homes and make inquiries. He had not planned on having to deal with a stranger; he just wanted some peace and quiet.

The woman and dog were walking up from the water’s edge. Rick eased toward the open doors of his living room, thinking to disappear into the shadows. He just didn’t feel like an early morning encounter with anyone, certainly not the mermaid with those incredible legs who was ambling slowly in his general direction. He stopped suddenly when something caught the corner of his eye. A glint of sunlight on metal. He reached for his pistol, but his waistband was empty. Damn. What is that woman doing with a diving knife strapped to her right bicep? Who the hell is she?


Morgan Malone is the pen name of a retired lawyer who turned in her judicial robes to write romantic memoir and sexy contemporary romance, which always features silver foxes and the independent women who tame them.

Morgan fell in love with romantic heroes after reading her mother’s first edition of “Gone with the Wind” when she was 12 years old. Rhett Butler became the standard by which she measured all men. Some have met the mark, most have failed to even come close and one or two surpassed even Rhett’s dark and dangerous allure.

Morgan lives near Saratoga Springs, NY with her beloved chocolate Lab. She can be found on occasion drinking margaritas and dancing at local hostelries, but look for her most often in independent book stores and the library, searching for her next great love in tales of romance, history, adventure and lust. When she can’t find the perfect man, she retreats to her upstairs office and creates him, body and soul, for her pleasure and for yours. Remember: love, like wine, gets better with age.

Her recent novel is the contemporary romance, Taking Control: Rick’s Story.




Author Interview 

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

I write for readers who enjoy a racy romance-there’s a lot more than just kissing in my books! And my readers should want a story about mature adults – all my heroes and heroines are over 35, and many are in their forties or fifties. I believe in “later in life” romance and I know many other readers do, too. My stories are sexy and romantic but also deal with issues that don’t often come up in a romance featuring twenty-somethings – second chance romance, divorce, widowhood, adult children, and not-so-perfect bodies!

How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

My main characters are a controlling lot. My first book in this series, Out of Control: Kat’s Story is about Katarina, a widow, age 40, who is getting into dating and finds herself in the arms of men who like to exercise more than a bit of control. So, control and the main character’s name created the title for me. Taking Control: Rick’s Story tells us what happened to the “one who got away” in the first book. His name is Rick and he is weary veteran of many battles. He’s just looking to find some peace on the Jersey Shore and what he finds instead is Britt. She is also a veteran. Britt is on the Shore to heal the wounds she received fighting in Afghanistan. The next book in the series will be about Rick’s best friend and will have to be titled Losing Control: Mick’s Story.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image?

Kris Norris designs all my covers and I love each one more than the last. She redesigned the cover of Out of Control after the rights to that book reverted to me. I loved that she featured Kat and all of the men who vied for her love in that story. Since there were multiple characters on that cover, we decided to have multiple images on this cover, too. Rick and Britt are the main images on the cover of Taking Control and we have the dog and the horse who are important to the story in the background. And everyone loves a dog on the cover! I just tell Kris a little bit about my stories and she creates amazing covers for me.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

Rick. He is loosely based on a man I dated briefly over ten years ago, the “one who got away.” Rick is the perennial warrior, frequently called back into service of the country he loves and for whom he has sacrificed so much. His story is so compelling to me. I wanted to give him the happy ever after he deserved and thought he would never find. And he made me work really hard to do it. I never had a character fight me so much as I tried to get him to let down his guard and fall in love.

How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

My website is All my books are featured on the website, as is a sign-up for my quarterly newsletter. I can also be contacted on Facebook at or Twitter @MMaloneuthor. My email address is I’d love to hear from readers. I always have swag to send to fans.

What can we expect from you in the future?

A pirate trilogy with a really cool prologue novella I am working on right now. A romantic memoir about my late husband. A trilogy about three thirty-something girlfriends who have sworn to “Never Say I Do.”

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Like most authors, and all indie authors, reviews are crucial. If you like my book (and I hope you will love Taking Control), please leave a review with one of the online distributors or GoodReads, talk it up on FaceBook or Twitter or select it for your next Book Club meeting. I’m happy to Skype or FaceTime with book clubs-it’s great to talk with readers about my stories.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Thank you very much for this opportunity to talk to you about my book and my writing. Taking Control: Rick’s Story is especially important to me because my “adopted” son is a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and I wanted to recognize his service. Also, when I needed to find a way to bring my two wounded warriors together in this book, my research led me to virtually my own backyard. I learned about the amazing program created by Saratoga WarHorse Foundation that matches veterans with PTSD with rescued retired thoroughbred race horses. In a unique three-day program, totally without charge to veterans, Saratoga WarHorse has helped almost 1000 veterans heal and move forward with their lives. I am so grateful to the Foundation for the help I received in writing this book and its life-saving work with veterans and race horses that I am donating 25% of my proceeds from the sale of Taking Control: Rick’s Story to the Saratoga WarHorse Foundation. So I hope everyone will pick up a copy of Taking Control; it’s a great end-of-summer read and it supports a truly worthy cause.

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