Guest Post: Behind the scenes on Die By The Team by Cindy Skaggs

An explosion at a university research facility exposes a tie between an unauthorized experiment and a classified military program to create fearless soldiers–Die By the Team (Fear Book 4) by @CLSkaggs

Behind the Scenes: Knife Play

Knife play isn’t as dirty as it sounds, but there are a few scenes in DIE BY THE TEAM that incorporates knives. Writing about military guys means learning a lot of interesting stuff about weaponry, so today we’re going to look at what I learned about one of Craft’s trickiest blades (trickiest, not deadliest). My resident knife guy tells me that the butterfly blade isn’t what you want in the middle of a battle, but learning to do tricks does help with dexterity, muscle memory, and gives the user a healthy respect for knives. I consider it the fidget spinner of the typical knife guy, and they have the scars to prove it.

Throughout the books in the series, Craft always has something in his hands. He’s either fiddling with computer part, electronic gadgets, or some other grown-up version of the fidget spinner. He’s full of energy but spends most of his time in front of the computer breaking into classified files. To get rid of the energy, he started playing with knives. Literally. In middle school, Craft started by learning how to use a butterfly blade. 

Also known as a balisong, this blade originated in the Philippines. This blade is expensive and dangerous, which may be the draw. It’s considered a pocketknife, but because of the concealed element it is illegal in many places across the globe. The style is what makes it a butterfly or fan blade as two handles rotate in such a way that the blade can be concealed inside the two handles. The fun really is in using it like a baton. I’ve tried the practice blades (no sharp edges) and while I’m not a complete spaz, it takes some dexterity and practice. I think I failed on the hours of practice needed to be an expert like this guy who is using a fully functioning blade (ouch!).

Read the book to see why Craft started learning about knives. It’s really not what you think.

Behind the Scenes: Allyson’s Closet

Allyson Bowen has a secret. Well, she has several, such as her brother was murdered in an explosion at the lab, she let the bad guys into the lab the night that it exploded, and she’s hiding a wanted soldier in the spare bedroom of her condo, but her biggest secret is hidden in her closet. While going to college for advanced degrees in biochemistry and genetics, Allyson picked up a sinful habit. Shoes. Lots and lots of shoes.

In the heart of her condo, hidden in the walk-in closet, is a shoe closet that would make Carrie Bradshaw green with envy (Sex in the City). Allyson has shoes in every color, every heel type, for every occasion, but she has one pair of shoes that she’s never worn as she’s waiting for the right time, the right event, the right man to wear these shoes for. The black slipper portion is classic but understated, but it’s what she’s walking on that makes all the difference. Not the stiletto heel, but the red soles at the bottom of the Christian Louboutin heels that she’s saving for a special day. When Craft enters the closet toward the end of the book, he’s in for a wicked surprise.

Now it’s your turn. What’s your hidden obsession? Shoes, leather jackets, gummy bears?

Die By the Team
Team Fear Book 4
by Cindy Skaggs
Genre: Romantic Suspense

An explosion at a university research facility exposes a tie between an unauthorized experiment and a classified military program to create fearless soldiers. Reclusive scientist ALLYSON BOWEN is stalked by crazed soldiers who want her silenced, but her drive to discover what happened to the scientists who disappeared from the lab has her joining forces with CALEB CRAFT, soldier and computer specialist, as they expose the company who funded the Prometheus Project. Negotiating death threats, hit squads, and a growing attraction, Allyson and Craft fight against the elusive Team Echo in order to put the failed experiment back in Pandora’s box forever.Team Fear: An elite Special Forces unit involved in an experimental program to create fearless soldiers.Background: Military trained, medically enhanced, designed to kill.Mission: The surviving members of Team Fear are out of the military and in a world of secrets, lies, and cover-ups in this steamy romantic suspense series by Cindy Skaggs.
Goodreads * Amazon

The tension drained from his rigid frame. Craft took a deep breath and stopped fighting the compulsion to answer her questions. “We were introduced to the program as an experiment. The best of the best taking war fighting to the next level. Once we’d signed on the dotted line, we were released from our units and reassigned to Team Fear. Before we knew who was on the team, we were injected with shit that made us lose our minds.”

“Wait. Describe it.” Her features were animated, curious and engaged. “Losing your minds how? What does that look like?”

“It looks like grown-ass men rolling in a river of glass. Horrific pain. Sensitivity to light. Headaches. We lost time.”

“Meaning?”

“We blacked out. Woke up bruised or bloody. Couldn’t remember training. Hell, half of that time, I wondered if I’d sold my soul. The doctors took months to titrate the proper dosage, which varied by individual.”

“Why did you stay?”

“Honey, do you really think they gave us a choice? We signed up for the program. We stuck it out. End of fucking story. Once the men in lab coats normalized our dosage, we no longer felt fear.”

She rested her elbows on the table, leaned on her folded hands. “Was it worth it?”

He skimmed those long fingers along her throat, trailing flames down her neck, exploding like the snap and pop of a log in the fire. 

 “Touch me, Caleb.” Gripping his waist, she pulled so she stood cocooned between his body and the wall. She lifted on her toes. “Taste—”

His mouth swallowed her words, her thoughts, until she no choice but grab hold or fall. Then he wrapped her in an embrace that pulled them together like magnets. Close to him now, caught in his gravity, she opened to the sensations. Firm lips. Demand. The brush of his hand at the small of her back. Under her shirt. Skin-to-skin and those flames burned brighter. The touch traced a line up her spine, engulfing her in sensation. Sparks in her veins as his hands stirred and churned. Then he gripped the back of her neck, tilted, and took the kiss deeper.

She was lost. Free floating, experiencing, memorizing every touch. Lost in the kiss, in the strength of the arm around her, in the heat of his body. Something smooth and enticing took her. Not to weakness, but strength, as he simply melted her bones so that the only thing holding her up was his hand, his strength.

Leaning back, he watched her with dark, mysterious eyes. The green almost fully black. His chest heaved. “I thought to take it slow.”

“If that was slow, I don’t think I can handle fast.”

Survive By the Team
Team Fear Book 3

5 stars. “Every Team Fear novel seems better than the last.” -Jess Molly BrownTeam Fear: An elite Special Forces unit involved in an experimental program to create fearless soldiers.Background: Military trained, medically enhanced, designed to kill.Mission: The surviving members of Team Fear are out of the military and in a world of secrets, lies, and cover-ups in this steamy romantic suspense series by Cindy Skaggs.He is about to meet the woman he can’t walk away from.Mandi Gault’s brother died in a conspiracy threatening Team Fear–a defunct military team–so when she winds up in the hospital, a former teammate is forced to leave the safety of the team’s compound. He recognizes her attacker as a member of a rogue military unit with orders to eliminate Team Fear. Now they’re on the run while they unravel why Team Echo wants her dead.As the danger escalates, they share a wild night of down and dirty fun that would put a blush on a corpse, but he made it clear it was one and done. Now he must decide if he’s brave enough to forget about vengeance and live.Military trained, medically enhanced, designed to kill. The surviving members of Team Fear are out of the military and in a world of secrets, lies, and cover-ups in this fast-paced romantic suspense series by Cindy Skaggs.
Goodreads * Amazon

Fight By the Team
Team Fear Book 2

“A rollercoaster ride … [that] keeps the reader riveted.” –Splashes Into BooksTeam Fear: An elite Special Forces unit involved in an experimental program to create fearless soldiers.Background: Military trained, medically enhanced, designed to kill.Mission: The surviving members of Team Fear are out of the military and in a world of secrets, lies, and cover-ups in this steamy romantic suspense series by Cindy Skaggs.Sergeant Rose is a former Special Forces soldier turned fearless through a classified program designed to inhibit the physiological reactions to fear, but the secret cocktail of drugs has lethal side effects. The soldiers are still fearless, but they’re also angry, paranoid, violent, and potentially suicidal, making them a danger to anyone close to them, which sends Rose on a mission of revenge against the military and the scientists who used Team Fear as guinea pigs to further a twisted agenda.A discredited chemist fired for rushing testing protocols, Debi works as a bartender and longs for a way to redeem an impulsive, life-altering mistake. When she is kidnapped and nearly killed by the men sent to destroy Team Fear and all evidence of the experimental program, she has no choice but to join Team Fear on their quest for vengeance. Now she’s in the crosshairs of a rogue military team bent on her destruction.The threat of annihilation should be enough to prevent Rose from acting on his fantasies about the beautiful scientist, but he can’t fight fate, the Army, and their explosive chemistry. As they’re drawn deeper into the conspiracy, will their relationship survive the truth?Military trained, medically enhanced, designed to kill. The surviving members of Team Fear are out of the military and in a world of secrets, lies, and cover-ups in this fast-paced romantic suspense series by Cindy Skaggs.
Goodreads * Amazon

Live By the Team
Team Fear Book 1

Reads like a Jason Bourne type flick. -Typical DistractionsTeam Fear: An elite Special Forces unit involved in an experimental program to create fearless soldiers.Background: Military trained, medically enhanced, designed to kill.Mission: The surviving members of Team Fear are out of the military and in a world of secrets, lies, and cover-ups in this steamy romantic suspense series by Cindy Skaggs.As a member of an elite Special Forces unit, Ryder bleeds red, white, and blue until a tragic accident causes Uncle Sam to cut the experimental team loose. The government program created a near-invincible fighting force but left the men with horrific side effects. When a fellow soldier loses his tether to reality and does the unthinkable, Ryder goes underground to protect his new wife.Lauren thought her marriage was perfect until her husband disappeared. Now she’s determined to move on alone, but when someone tries to kill her, Ryder returns to protect what’s his.The threats to Lauren intensify and Ryder must call in his disgraced team to protect her. She’s not safe alone, but loving a fearless soldier might be her most dangerous mission yet.**Get it FREE Mar 11th-15th!!
**Goodreads * Amazon

Cindy Skaggs grew up on stories of mob bosses, horse thieves, cold-blooded killers, and the last honest man. Those mostly true stories gave her a lifelong love of storytelling and heroes. Her search for story took her around the world with the Air Force before returning to Colorado where she’s turning her lifelong love of storytelling into fast-paced romantic suspense. She has an MFA in Creative Writing, three jobs, two kids, and more pets than she can possibly handle. She also plays the flute, makes crazy-good sculptures out of tortilla dough, and can wrangle the neurotic dog without getting mauled. Find her @CLSkaggs on Twitter or www.CSkaggs.com to sign up for her newsletter.

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Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
A $10 Amazon Gift Card and a signed print copy of the first book in the series: LIVE BY THE TEAM (International winners will receive TEAM FEAR ebooks 1-3 instead of the signed first copy)

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