Tour Stop, Excerpt & Giveaway: Ten Seconds to Dead by L.A. Clayton

Title: Ten Seconds to Dead by L.A. Clayton
Publisher: L.A. Clyaton
Genre: Contemporary, Thriller
Length: 369 pages


Ten seconds may be all she has left …

Kate Edison witnesses her father’s death and, in order to keep his memory alive, decides to follow in his footsteps by joining the CIA. She molds herself into becoming exactly what the CIA is looking for—and captures their interest, both personally and professionally. But before she can finish the CIA process, Kate is offered a position as an espionage agent in another highly secretive government agency, which she accepts.

While completing her agency training, Kate is catapulted into a shadowy world where wealth and power are the ultimate goal, and those in charge will stop at nothing to get it. While on the job, Kate uncovers secrets that, if revealed, would cost her life, but if kept, could bring down a nation. Isolated and unsure of who to trust, she brings in a fellow agent, but pulling him into the web of conspiracy and lies puts a target on both their backs – and it will take every skill they’ve ever learned as agents to stay alive long enough to stop the enemy no one else can see.

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Officer Lyon, with his masculine woodsy scent, was there waiting for me when I opened the door. I took in a deep breath to commit his delicious essence to memory. He was in a suit today, and I couldn’t help but look. I was trying to take in as much of him as I could. It might be the last time I’d have the chance.

“What did you think about your final interview, Ms. Edison?”

His question caught me in the middle of mentally appraising his good looks. “Uh … a bit stressful at times, but overall I enjoyed it.”

He nodded. “Glad to hear it. I hope to see more of what you can do in the future. I don’t make the final vote here, but I would certainly like to see you move forward.” He looked at me intently and gave me one of his tight smiles.

My smile, on the other hand, was anything but tight. It was megawatt huge. Lyon wanted me to continue. That fact alone made me incredibly happy. I looked at Lyon, and his small smile turned into a genuine one. His smile was so captivating it bordered on dangerous, a girl could lose herself in it. We gazed at each other perhaps a bit longer than was normal. I could have sworn that I saw his eyes roam to my mouth and back up. It was fast, and I couldn’t be sure, but when his eyes locked back with mine, there seemed to be an intensity that hadn’t been there before. I felt a fire flare up in my abdomen. Our smiles faltered, and I swallowed audibly.

Perhaps my attraction wasn’t completely one-sided.

Biting his lip, Lyon broke eye contact and took a deep breath. “Should you remain I will be your trainer, Ms. Edison. The relationship between trainer and trainee is one I take very seriously.” His smile turned apologetic, and I understood his meaning completely.

I nodded. “I appreciate your respect for your position and hope I get the opportunity to go forward. I have no doubt that you would make an excellent trainer.”

Lyon pulled a large manila envelope off the top of a stack. It had my name on it. He handed me the envelope with one hand and held out his other for me to shake. His large, masculine hand engulfed mine, and his touch sent chills down my spine. My mind wandered, wondering what would it feel like to do more than shake hands with this man. His touch was almost electric.

He looked in my eyes and held my hand for a beat longer than necessary, giving me another set of goosebumps. Then he dropped my hand. When he spoke his voice was soft. “You will get a response from the CIA through the mail. It will come in an envelope from an unknown company. In other words, don’t throw away your junk mail.”

I thanked him and walked out of the room.

Lyon was intoxicating. With my hand still tingling, I headed back to the hotel to pack. My flight was taking off in two hours. As soon as I got inside my room I shut the door and, out of habit, slid the chain lock into place. I walked over to my mostly packed bag and opened the envelope so I could transfer the reimbursement money to my purse. A letter fell out along with the cash. I sat down on the bed to read it.

Ms. Edison,

Your mental and physical test scores show a high-above-average aptitude for field work and espionage. We are pleased to offer you a position within a highly classified government entity. You are to tell no one about your offer. Proceed as if you are going to the airport. A black Ford Taurus with the Maryland license plate marked 080-L9AT will be waiting in front of your hotel to pick you up. Give the driver the name Lydia Blakely. You will arrive at our offices in Maryland in approximately one hour.


I read the letter three times, my jaw dropping open wider with each reading. With my hands shaking so hard I was afraid I would drop the letter, I barely managed to fold it and put it back inside the envelope. My heart was racing so fast I knew I needed to calm myself down. I took two large, deep breaths, closed my eyes for a second, then got up and threw the rest of my bag together.

Author Bio

L.A. Clayton has been an avid reader her entire life, devouring books at an alarming rate. Her husband often jokes that if she didn’t buy so many books they could retire. She went to bed one night a reader and woke up with a fresh memory of a dream she’d had the night before, sat down and became a writer.

L.A. Clayton lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband and their four young children. She makes time for writing in between wiping noses and packing lunches.

Author Links: Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads


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7 Responses to Tour Stop, Excerpt & Giveaway: Ten Seconds to Dead by L.A. Clayton

  1. Lee Todd

    congrats on the new release

  2. Molli Taylor

    this looks like a great read!

  3. Trix

    Looks like an engaging story!

  4. Thanks for being on the tour! 🙂

  5. Audrey Stewart

    L.A. Clayton is a new author to me, but I loved all I have read so far. I can’t wait to read this book.

  6. BookLady

    Congrats on the new release! Great excerpt. I’d love to read more.

  7. Anne

    This book sounds captivating and interests me greatly. Thanks for this lovely feature and giveaway.