About the Book
Book: Texas Holiday Hideout
Author: Virginia Vaughan
Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense
Release Date: October 1, 2020
When her identity’s exposed,
hiding on a lawman’s family ranch is her last hope.
After her mother is killed, Melissa Morgan’s shocked to learn she’s spent her life in witness protection. Now it’s US marshal Miles Avery’s job to keep her and her little boy safe. And with a mole in his agency, the only way to evade the killer is to hide Melissa on Miles’s family ranch…and pretend she’s his wife for the holidays.
Click HERE to get your copy!
About the Author
Virginia Vaughan is a multi-published author of inspirational romantic suspense. Blessed to come from a large, southern family, her fondest memories include listening to stories recounted by family and friends around the large dinner table. She was a lover of books even from a young age, devouring gothic romance novels and stories of romance, danger, and love. She soon started writing them herself. A former investigator for the State of Mississippi, Virginia utilizes her criminal justice background with her love of writing to transform words into powerful stories of romance and danger.
More from Virginia
What if one day you discovered you were in the Witness Protection Program and didn’t know it?
This is the premise for my October book, TEXAS HOLIDAY HIDEOUT, which releases this month. My heroine, Melissa Morgan, learns she and her mother entered the program when Melissa was a child. Her mother never told her and, when Melissa witnesses her mother being murdered, she becomes the assassin’s next target. US Marshal Miles Avery steps in to protect the single mom and her son from a killer, but a leak in WITSEC leaves him with little options except to take his witnesses to his family’s ranch…and pretend she’s his wife for the holidays.
So, in celebration of TEXAS HOLIDAY HIDEOUT releasing this month, here are 10 things about the Witness Protection Security Program (or WITSEC) I learned during my research for this book.
- The program is voluntary. No one can be forced to enter.
- You can leave the program at any time—although it is not recommended.
- No person in the program, who follows the rules, has ever been killed.
- People entering WITSEC sometimes keep their same first name and/or initials so that if they mess up and start to sign their name, they have time to correct.
- Since WITSEC is a federal program, many states have their own programs to protect witnesses of gang or street-level crimes.
- If you get married while in WITSEC, you must lie to your new spouse to protect your true identity in the event the relationship doesn’t last.
- Protected witnesses are mostly criminals. Only about 5% are innocents despite the popular trope in movies and fiction.
- Local law enforcement may or may not be notified when a protected witness is relocated to their jurisdiction.
- Divorced, non-custodial parents have had their children hidden from them and now must agree to allow their children to enter the program.
- WITSEC protected witnesses are expected to eventually become self-sufficient. They do not get to live off the government for the rest of their lives.
Did any of these facts about WITSEC surprise you? I’d love to hear which ones. I had a lot of fun researching WITSEC for TEXAS HOLIDAY HIDEOUT. I hope you enjoy Miles and Melissa’s story! Look out for the next book in the series—middle brother Navy SEAL Paul Avery’s story—coming in TEXAS TARGET STANDOFF in March of 2021.
Book two in Virginia Vaughan’s Cowboy Lawmen series, Texas Holiday Hideout can easily be read as a standalone, although readers will not want to miss spending more time with the Averys in Texas Twin Abuction, which tells Lawson and his wife’s story. While I would not want my family to be comprised primarily of law enforcement agents due to the inherent danger, I do love reading about the Averys and how they band together and protect each other. Because they each serve in a different capacity, they have a range of knowledge and resources at their disposal, although this changes somewhat for Miles Avery when he is the US marshal assigned to keep Melissa Morgan and her young son safe within the witness protection program (WITSEC). Unable to trust his own agency due to the interference of a mole, Miles takes his two charges home with him under the guise of having married Melissa. What could possibly go wrong?
For some reason, I didn’t find this story quite as absorbing as the first book. I think that I was expecting there to be more about Christmas, given the title and official description, and the extent of the incidents occurring in the narrative became a bit numbing after a while. This is not to say that I didn’t enjoy Texas Holiday Hideout, because I did. I learned quite a bit about WITSEC, including that the majority of people in it are criminals and that no one who has followed the rules has ever been killed. I love the Avery family and how compassionate and openhearted they are, and Silver Star Ranch is idyllic. Vaughan skillfully demonstrates the emotions and internal conflicts of her characters, particularly noting how lying is part of witness protection and the implications this can have. Subsequently, trust is also a substantial issue. This scenario provides a unique opportunity for interweaving the faith element, which ultimately points to God’s sovereignty and to the precious truth of Romans 8:28 when Melissa proclaims, “If I’ve learned anything through this entire ordeal, it’s that, even though I couldn’t see God’s plan, He was working for me all along.”
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
My rating: 4 stars ♥♥♥♥
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To celebrate her tour, Virginia is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of Texas Holiday Hideout!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.