What’s in a Name? by Alice Wootson

17 Sep

Genius graduate student, Takeem El, is picked up by agents from The National Protection Operations because his name matches one on their new list. They question him at their location, fail to get information and decide to move him to headquarters. Members of an extremist group attack them, kill the agents and take Takeem. A further check shows Takeem is not the one on the list. Kelli Malone and Jake Landis, special government agents, are assigned to rescue him and apprehend the terrorists.


Reviews: What’s in a Name by Alice Wootson

“The action in What’s in a Name? is fast paced and the tension high, as the two agent juggle personal and mission-related issues. All in all a fun and clever read for both action and romance lovers.” –Reader R.M.

“The plot is strong with a number of intriguing subplots, and the characters well developed and charming. It’s a fun read and the romance gives it an added appeal.” — Reader T.J.



Chapter Excerpt: What’s in a Name? by Alice Wootson

Chapter One

It was a typical Friday night in the Howe University’s library. The building was quiet as only a nearly empty library would be, but if it was as noisy as a schoolyard at recess, the young man huddled over a book wouldn’t have noticed.

Hours had passed and he looked as if he could spend many more in the same position.

“Okay, Takeem. Time to stop for the night.”

Takeem looked at the librarian standing beside the table, then glanced at the empty tables around him. As usual he was the last student in the building.

“Okay, Mrs. Taylor.” He closed the book and moved it to the center of the table with three others. “Are you going to leave these here for me for tomorrow?” He grinned at her.

“I should.” She smiled back. “It would save me from having to shelve them again. You’ve had these same books for two days, now. Something giving you trouble?” She asked as he stood and stretched.

“No, I just want my semester project to be perfect.”

“Don’t you always?” She shook her head. “You know there is no such thing as perfection.”

“No, but it is something we should all strive for,” he answered as he gathered his things. They both laughed at the exchange they had many times. Neither noticed the man who paused outside the large front window, then continued down the street.

“I’m not trying to put myself out of a job, but you do know you can find a lot of information using the computer,” she said as they walked to the door.

“I know, but many important details are only in reference books and some of those are obscure.”

“You’ve discovered the librarians’ secret, my young friend. That’s how we make sure libraries don’t become obsolete.” She laughed. “I don’t know why I mentioned computers to you. I’ve heard that what you can do with technology is close to the perfection you’re seeking in your project.”

“That’s not true. There is no such thing as finished when it comes to finding out what computers can do. By the time a new one is on the assembly line, something new is already in the developmental stage.”

“I’ll have to take your word for that. All I know about computers and modern technology is what I need to know to function successfully in here. I’m more comfortable trusting things I can see and touch. Like books.” She stopped at the door. “See you tomorrow.”

She watched him leave, then locked the door behind him. She smiled as she thought of her young friend who was destined for success.

Takeem smiled to himself as he walked toward his apartment four blocks away. He had accomplished a lot today. He was right on his schedule to earning another ‘A’.

Still smiling, he came to The Dugout, the university’s late night eating spot. He hesitated outside the large window. A lot of his classmates were probably inside.

He glanced at the people he could see and shrugged. He recognized a few, but, although they were friendly, none of them were his friends. Any who got close to him only did so because they were curious about him. He didn’t resent their attitude. He understood completely. How many eighteen year-olds did they know who were working on a doctorate? He guessed the answer was ‘one’. Him.

Takeem stared a minute longer, then glanced at his watch. He shrugged. He had an early class in the morning, anyway.

He turned the corner to take the short cut back to his apartment building. The stores on this street were closed for the night and the metal gates were locked in place. Takeem felt uneasy as he usually did at this point, but the shortcut saved him fifteen minutes.

Halfway down the block, he slowed as two men came toward him. He took a deep breath and crossed the street. Splinters of concern pricked him when the men crossed, too. They didn’t look as young as the ones he usually saw along here.

He glanced around. Except for the two men coming toward him, nobody else was in sight. He released a slow breath and prepared himself to lose the few dollars he had in his wallet.

This is why you don’t carry more money or anything important, he reminded himself. You don’t have anything on you that you can’t afford to give up.

He swallowed hard as the men came closer. He debated whether to cross the street again and head back to the restaurant.

Almost as if they had read his thoughts, the men moved apart so they left no room on either side; taking away Takeem’s option of passing them.

A vehicle came from around the corner behind Takeem. He turned and looked at it. He lost some of his tension. It stopped a few feet in front of him just as the men reached him. Maybe the driver would help him. Takeem turned back to face the men.

“What do you want?” He took out his wallet and threw it a few feet into the street across from him as was suggested during student orientation. “That’s all the money I have.” He backed away from the men and toward the van.

Without saying a word, they grabbed him.

( Continued… )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Alice Wootson. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


Purchase What’s in a Name by Alice Wootson
Genre: Romantic Suspense



Intimate Conversation with  Alice Wootson

Alice Wootson grew up in Ronkin, a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA. She is a graduate of Cheyney University and a winning author of ten contemporary romance novels. Ms. Wootson teaches writing workshops and meets with reading groups.


BPM: What made you want to become a writer? How long have you been writing?
Ever since I can remember I was always reading. In my late teens I discovered romance magazines then books. One day I thought: I can write one of these. I did. It was terrible. I continued to try. Finally, when I retired from teaching, I wrote ‘Snowbound with Love’, and got up the courage to send it to Arabesque who published it in 2000.


BPM: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I never wrote ‘sweet’ stories, but I moved into romantic suspense.


BPM: How has writing impacted your life?
It’s become an important part of it. When I travel, I’m always looking for an idea for a novel.


BPM: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I can get ideas from anywhere.


BPM: How do you find or make time to write?
When I was teaching, I wrote as soon as I got home. Now, I try to write first thing in the morning.


BPM: Are you a plotter or a pantster?
Pantster. When I get an idea, I know the beginning and the ending. I fill in the rest as I write. It’s as if I’m watching the story unfold.


BPM: How did you choose the genre you write in? Have you considered writing in another genre?
I read mostly romance so that was a logical choice and I chose romance because I like happy endings. I departed a bit in two of the four novels I’ve completed. They are historical. One is a family saga based on my father’s grandparents’ names. (Not their story, though.) The other is based on a bit of his family history about an ancestor in-law who was a spy.


BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special?
Takeem El is a genius graduate student. He’s only 18. He’s picked up by government agents because of his name. They didn’t do a thorough check. Kelli Malone and Jake Landis, who have a history together, are the agents assigned to rescue him after the mistake is discovered.


BPM: Share one specific point in your book that resonated with your present situation or journey.
I was not/am not a genius as Takeem is, but there were/are times when I don’t fit in.


BPM: Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
I wonder what the librarian, Mrs. Taylor’s, story is.


BPM: Is there one subject you would never write about as an author?
Probably paranormal, vampires, etc. Notice I said ‘probably’.


BPM: Have you written any other books that are not published?
In addition to the two historical novels I mentioned, I have two contemporary novels completed. ‘Reunion’ is about a high school reunion and two characters who have unfinished business. I added resentment, embezzlement and a life-threatening condition to make it interesting. ‘Border Trouble’ is my third novel set on the Texas-Mexican border, but it isn’t connected to ‘Border Love’ nor ‘Border Danger’.


BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
I’m working on Nate’s story. Nate is the brother of Chris Harris, the main male character in ‘Aloha Love’. Nate made me give him his story. He did. Whenever he was in a scene, he tried to take over. Really. I had to promise him his own story so he’d behave. I relocated him to Philadelphia. I haven’t worked on his story for a while and from time to time he bugs me.


BPM: What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you?
Email is best. I’m on Facebook, but I don’t go there as often as I should.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Facebook is about it. I also have a Twitter account. As you can see, I’m old, old school. I write a newsletter. But not as often as I should. I post it on my website:


Purchase Border Danger by Alice Wootson






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