Category Archives: Character Interview

Character Interview from Blood Moon by Leah St. James

 

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

Good morning, Linda. Thanks so much for having me on your blog today. I’m excited to meet your readers!

Where were you raised?

I’m a Midwestern girl, born and raised in Iowa, in a town near the bump at the Mississippi. I attended college in Virginia though, and fell in love with the beach. I moved there my sophomore year of college and never went back.

Family members?

My mom, dad and younger brother still live in Iowa. We visit every so often, mostly around the holidays. Thank goodness for Skype!

My husband, Matt, is an FBI agent assigned to the nearby field office. I met him at a mystery conference. He was giving a talk on profiling serial killers, and I asked him to show me his badge <winking>. We’ve been together since.

Did you always want to be a book reviewer?

Well, no. My degree was in English lit, so I always hoped I would do something with books and fiction. I was one of those kids who hid under the blankets with a flashlight reading after my bedtime. I started my review blog, Readers’ Retreat, in college, and it took off. Now I read and review two to three books a week.

What do you like most about reviewing books?

The best part is discovering a new author and helping to get the word out to other readers. It’s like finding that pristine, perfectly formed conch shell on the beach after a storm. Like it’s been there all along, just had to get churned to the surface.

 What are your reading tastes?

My personal favorite is romantic suspense. I love that feeling of apprehension in a well-crafted suspense novel, and trying to figure out how the hero and heroine will get themselves out of trouble, and into love. I also love relationship stories, not necessarily romantic. You know, like mother-daughter stories, or sibling stories.

Professionally, I read pretty much all genres, but I draw the line at the way-out things, like bestiality.

List your favorite book of all time and why.

Oh gosh…that’s a tough one. I don’t think I can. It would be like picking a favorite child.

Do you have any hobbies?

I love to cook and experiment with new textures and flavors. It’s a great outlet to cleanse my palate, so to speak, between books.

 What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you?

(Shivering) Well, last Halloween I got in a bit of trouble while Matt and I were walking on the beach. There was this big, red moon in the sky, and it was so romantic. And all of a sudden, all you-know-what broke loose. (Shivers again.) But, you know, now I’m fine, Matt is fine, and the bad guy is behind bars…I hope.

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Leah St. James – Blood Moon

One Halloween night, a killer terrorized a strip of Virginia beachfront, murdering a dozen young women whose only crime was walking the beach with a boyfriend. Now, fifty years later, book reviewer Ronnie can’t shake the feeling that another has come to take his place. Is it nothing more than her vivid imagination running wild, or are the spirits stirring, warning of approaching danger?

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Leah_web_SMALLER

Leah is a worrier, a self-described neurotic who tends to imagine the worst-case scenario in response to brewing troubles. She hasn’t decided if this leaning toward the dark side is what draws her to write edgy, gritty stories, or if the suspenseful mysteries and Gothic romances that filled her childhood bookshelves somehow imprinted their shadows on her psyche.  Despite (or maybe because of) this propensity for infusing her fiction with murder and mayhem, she still craves those happily-ever-after endings and the romance of everlasting love.

You can read more about Leah at www.leahstjames.com

Connect with Leah on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

EXCERPT  FROM “BLOOD MOON” included in “Mysteries of the Macabre | A Halloween Anthology.”

On the beach, two lovers kissed. Behind them, the moon—hanging giant and hazy red in the sky—dripped feathery tendrils into the sea, painting crimson tips on the dancing waves.

Its raw beauty was lost on the two, engrossed as they were in each other, entwined so closely, they appeared from a distance as one. They never heard my approach. Never knew I’d been observing them earlier while they joined their friends around a bonfire.

I moved closer, my steps inaudible over the crashing surf. Something about the woman—girl really—called to me. More than that…vexed me.

Maybe it was her waist-length hair the color of coal. Most of the girls teased their hair into those ugly beehives, but she’d let hers flow free, like a curtain of silk. She reminded me of…

I forced that image from my mind. Maybe it was the way her date, a handsome young man, brought her hand to his mouth for a kiss. He pressed his lips not to the back of her hand, like a gentleman would, but to the center of her palm. I imagined their eyes making love as surely as if they lay together, unclothed, in bed.

Maybe it was her response, a trill of sensuous laughter, carried by the sea-scented breezes to my ears.

My stomach stormed. What made her boy-man so special? Why did he deserve her love?

A need to make her suffer, just as I had suffered, rose and filled my soul with hate. Despite that, my hands flexed with the urge to touch, to sample the woman’s lushness, the curves so happily on display in the indecently short dress with fanciful red polka dots that looked eerily like that moon.

Was it a symbol, a sign, that it was time to indulge that craving for her body, her blood? Was it destiny that brought me to their part of the world on that specific night?

 I moved in. First on the boyfriend. So unaware. So full of youthful passion in the way he clutched her close. A quick chop to the back of the head, and the boy-man was down, twitching in the sand. When he woke, would he understand that it was his attention that caused her death?

I turned to her. She backed up, her eyes rounded, her hands over her open mouth. Screams bubbled from her crimson lips, so loud and shrill they must have come from some deep dark place in her soul.

Blood coursed through my veins, carried by the excitement of the prize before me, and I laughed at the sheer power of the moment. I stepped closer, close enough to see that her cheeks were wet with tears, close enough to smell fear.

I grabbed for her and —

Something hot and sweaty clamped on the back of Ronnie’s neck, and a shriek tore up her throat as she twisted to face her attacker.

Matthew jumped  back, hands lifted, palms out. “What the hell, Ronnie? I just wanted to tell you it’s almost time to go.”

“Sorry.” Sitting up from where she’d been lounging on the couch, she gave her husband a sheepish smile and drew in a slow breath to calm her heart. “I was reading.” She flipped the paperback around to show him the cover of the true-crime novel she’d started earlier in the day.

Half illustration, half black-and-white photo, it depicted a shadowed man poised over a woman sprawled on a beach. Her body lay prone, right arm akimbo, legs splayed. A tear in the bodice of her mini-dress revealed a jagged, bloody gash over her heart. Blood had gushed from the wound and pooled in the sand at her side, puddled slick and oily-looking in a splash of red moonlight. In the background, a man’s face stared from behind prison bars with eyes that were at once triumphant and defiant.

It was a mock-up—he’d never been caught—but every time Ronnie looked at the cover, she shivered at the sheer evil of the man whose very real kill diary had been excerpted in the best-seller.

With a snort, Matthew took the paperback, flipped her bookmark in place, then snapped it shut and placed it on the end table. “What a shock. I’m surprised you even remember you have a real life half the time. Pretty soon you’re going to be buried in your work…literally.” He gestured to the several stacks of books crawling drunkenly up the wall in the corner of their living room.

“Not all of us can have jobs saving the world,” she said, raising her voice so he could hear her as he walked away. Wasn’t a big to-be-read pile to be expected for the life of a book reviewer?

Character Interview from First Impressions by Peggy Jaeger

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

My name is Padric Cleary, but everyone just calls me Pat. I’m a veterinarian in the town of Carvan Ct. and I’m in practice with my dad Seamus, my best friend Quentin Stapleton ( who’s also my bro-in-law) and Q’s father David.

Where were you raised?

Born and bred here in Carvan.

Family members?

My twin sister, Moira, who’s 4 minutes older than me and never lets me forget it. Next is Dennis, or Denny as we all call him, who’s 21 and last but not least, Alastair who’s 17. Everyone in my family calls him “Steps.” Long story – and he’s not fond of the nickname at all.

Did you always want to be a (a veterinarian)?

Yup. Even though it’s the family business, I really can’t see myself doing anything else. When we were kids, Moira and I always accompanied my dad on his farm visits and when we were old enough, we each took turns working in the clinic caring for the boarded animals, cleaning up, stuff like that.  I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. My sister accuses me of being a vet just so I can play with animals all day long, but if you know anything about veterinary medicine, we don’t get to play too often with our charges.

What do you like most about (your profession)?

Animals are natures’ purest-hearted creatures. They will never harm you unless they perceive a threat and their love is unconditional. Who wouldn’t love being a veterinarian knowing that? And really, is there anything more enjoyable than seeing a new litter of puppies romping around?

Are you a pet person?

The answer to that one better be yes, don’t you think? Ha ha.

Do you have any hobbies?

I guess you can all it a hobby, but to me it’s really the best way for me to unwind and relax, and that’s horseback riding. We all rode as kids and had our own horses. I still have mine and whenever I can grab an hour or more I set off on a long, thoughtful ride. I let my horse have his head and he knows exactly where to take me. Being atop such a magnificent animal is one of life’s true pleasures.

What attracts you first to a woman?

Well, if I’m being shallow, looks are always the first thing I see. But what really makes me want to be with a woman after I get over her looks is her sense of self and self-worth. Confidence is very big on my list of attributes for the perfect woman.  You can spot a confident woman from a mile away, but you can also get a sense of her self-assurance in the way she treats you, responds to you, and to others. Kindness goes hand in hand with that. I could never be with a sarcastic or cutting girl or a mean one.

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BLURB

Family Practice Doctor Clarissa Rogers’ first impression of Padric Cleary is biased and based on gossip. The handsome, charming veterinarian is considered a serial dater and commitment-phobic by his family and most of the town. Relationship shy, Clarissa refuses to lose her heart to a man who can’t pledge himself to her forever.

Pat Cleary, despite his reputation, is actually looking for “The One.” When he does give his heart away, he wants it to be for life. With his parent’s marriage as his guidebook, he wants a woman who will be his equal and soul mate in every way.

Can Pat convince everyone – including Clarissa – she’s the only woman for him?

BUY LINKS

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The Wild Rose Press

EXCERPT

“Have you ever been friends with a girl before?” she finally asked. “Friends?”

“Yes. Friends.”

“Have a beer and shoot some pool friends? Or the kind with benefits?”

She laughed out loud, shook her head and grinned. “Have you ever been friends with a girl without having sex mixed into the equation?”

“Not since I was sixteen,” he admitted and then felt his neck heat. “Why?”

She cocked her head again. “It’s no secret I’m attracted to you, too. I think my reaction to the way you kissed me proves it.”

“Why am I hearing a ‘but’?”

Her lips twitched at the corners. “But I don’t jump into bed with a man because I’m attracted to him.”

“I never thought you did.”

“Good to know.”
He cocked his head. “So, what’s being friends gotto do with anything?”

Clarissa sighed and settled back against the doorframe. “Can I be honest?”

“I would hope so.”

“I’ve been hearing about your reputation with women since I moved here, and I’m not looking to be the flavor of the week.”

He stared at her for a second as hurt washed through him. “When you say honest, you don’t pull any punches.”

P Jaeger
Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance author who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance. A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

Her current titles, available now, include SKATER’S WALTZ and THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, and FIRST IMPRESSIONS books 1 through 3 in her 6-book The MacQuire Women Series, published by The Wild Rose Press. Tying into her love of families, her children’s book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law, also a Peggy Jaeger!

WEB CONTACTS

Visit her at: http://peggyjaeger.com/

Tweet her at: https://twitter.com/peggy_jaeger

Friend her at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peggy-Jaeger-Author/825914814095072?ref=bookmarks

Pin her at: https://www.pinterest.com/peggyjaeger/

Instagram her at: mmj122687  ( peggy jaeger

Read her at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13478796.Peggy_Jaeger

Character Interview from Storm Season by Anna Kittrell

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

My name is Molly Marie Sanders—but, for some reason, my mom thinks it’s funny to call me ‘Molly Lou.’ I live in Redbend, Oklahoma in a two-story house with my dad, mom, three-year-old brother, Max, and little Chihuahua named Boo.

I graduated high school in May, and last month started classes at Redbend College to pursue a degree in elementary education. I’m loving school so far, and have made a ton of new friends. But I miss my two best friends, Bianca and Lenni, like crazy. I can’t wait until Christmas break so that we can all meet up in Redbend and hang out. I mean, we see each other all the time on Facebook, but it’s not the same. I want to hug their necks—although I’ll probably have to catch Bianca, first. She’s never been one for physical affection.

Continuing to live at home while attending school works out well for my family. My dad works for an accounting firm, and Mom runs an online antique business, so I spend a lot of time helping around the house and caring for my little brother—which I enjoy doing.

I attribute my love of learning and interest in the educational field to a very special teacher I had in high school, named Mrs. Piper. Her lessons both inside and out of the classroom are the reason I decided to apply to Redbend College to pursue a degree in education. My dream is to someday co-teach with Mrs. Piper in the same creative writing classroom where she helped me find myself—and Jesus.

Are you a pet person?

Yes! I have a sweet little six-year-old Chihuahua named Boo. He was the baby of the family until my little brother, Max, came along three years ago. But Boo was a good sport about Max’s arrival, and didn’t get jealous. He loves Max, and even shares his dog bowl with him sometimes—when Mom isn’t looking. Lol.

Do you have any hobbies?

Other than running after Max and Boo, I don’t really have many hobbies—unless you count listening to music. Dizzy is my all-time favorite singer. I’ve loved her since I was fourteen, and have every album she’s ever recorded and every DVD she’s ever made. Lenni, Bianca, and I have gone to every single show she’s played in Oklahoma City. Her music embodies so many of our shared high school memories—both good and bad.

And speaking of music, thanks to my mom’s persistence, I even enjoy listening to 80’s music now and again. The two of us have gone to the shows of several throwback hair-bands. Mom’s favorite concert was one we went to last summer, given by a band called SQUALLER. Four guys with tight pants, protruding bellies, and thinning hair, attempting to look like angst-ridden teenagers. To me, they just looked like a bunch of car salesmen squinting into the sun. They pretty much sounded the way they looked, but I didn’t tell Mom that.

What are your reading tastes?

I guess I’m kind of a nerd, because I enjoy old books—really old books, like from the 1800’s and early 1900’s. The kind everyone moans about studying in Lit class. I’m especially fond of classic horror—The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, and The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. I’m fascinated by the fact that no matter how old the story is, the characters remain relatable. Humanity is timeless. I also love reading the Bible, for that exact same reason. The stories are ageless, and the truth never changes.

List your favorite movie of all time and why.

I’m partial to The Wizard of Oz. I guess it might have something to do with my mother’s obsession over all things Oz related. Maybe she finally rubbed off on me. There was a time in my life when I absolutely hated the film—also a result of Mom’s Oz obsession. In addition to her ruby slipper keychain, Glenda the Good Witch coffee mug, and the flying monkey mobile she hung above Max’s baby crib, Mom had once placed a life-sized Wicked Witch of the West statue on our front porch. We were brand new in town, and you can only imagine the teasing I endured when the school bus pulled up in front of my house. There stood that stupid witch, in all her green glory, and nowhere near Halloween. The thing even added to the wrath and resentment Bianca felt for me back then. She thought I’d put the statue there as a way to make fun of her Witcha’be lifestyle. I’m happy to say I’ve grown past all that now, and love nothing more than to sing “Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead,” right along with the colorized munchkins of Oz.

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you?  

The summer before my freshman year of high school, my family and I moved from Crystal, Texas to Redbend, Oklahoma. Initially, the move wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. Our family spent the last two weeks of June at the lake with the Flemming family, which was really cool. Neal Flemming is my dad’s boss, and his daughter, Lenni, and I became instant friends. Lenni told me all about her best friend, Bianca—how beautiful she was, what a great actor she was, and how she made all her own outfits. She couldn’t wait to introduce us.

Unfortunately, the relationship between Bianca and me didn’t turn out quite as warm and fuzzy as Lenni planned. Bianca didn’t take too well to Lenni having a new friend, and strongly felt three was a crowd. Add the fact Lenni somehow forgot to tell me Bianca was a witch in training—aka Witcha’be—and, yeah, things got pretty crazy.

When summer ended, things got even crazier. Not only was I starting my first year of high school, I was going to be the new kid. I didn’t know anyone, except Lenni—and our friendship made Bianca mad. Cursing mad. So mad, she vowed to destroy me while honing her Witcha’be craft in the hallways of Redbend High. (The fact that I’m prone to violently hiccup whenever I’m scared didn’t help matters.)

If it weren’t for my creative writing teacher’s encouragement, I don’t know how I would’ve made it through those first couple of weeks of school. Mrs. Piper taught me that God hadn’t given me a spirit of fear; but of power, love, and a sound mind. Her faith in God—and in what He could accomplish through me—gave me the courage to become friends with a bitter enemy.

Thankfully, all of that is way behind me now. Bianca, Lenni, and I have remained best friends throughout our high school years, and are now excitedly sharing our college experiences through calls, text messages, and Facebook. I know it sounds cliché, but I truly believe the three of us really will stay best friends forever.

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BLURB

Redbend High school seniors, Molly, Lenni, and Bianca, are enjoying their last spring break before graduation when a massive tornado touches down in the very park they are exploring. From out of nowhere, a courageous stranger appears, risking his own life to save the girls from the deadly storm, and leaving them thunderstruck.

As his injuries heal, the rescuer claims each of the girls’ hearts while reclaiming his strength. Soon Molly, Lenni, and Bianca find themselves caught in a fierce competition for the wounded hero’s affection. One hurt feeling leads to another, and before long their friendship is torn and barely hanging, like a battered leaf in a hailstorm.

Is the friendship Molly, Lenni, and Bianca share strong enough to withstand the brutal winds of jealousy, heartache, and betrayal?

Or will graduation from Redbend High really mean goodbye forever?

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Anna Kittrell

Anna works as a middle school secretary in her beloved hometown of Anadarko, Oklahoma, where she resides with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband, Tim. She has written for as long as she can remember. She still has most of her tattered creations—leftover stories she was unable to sell on the playground for a dime—written in childish handwriting on notebook paper, bound with too many staples. Her love of storytelling has grown throughout the years, and she is thrilled her tales are now worth more than ten cents.

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EXCERPT

“What a rush!” Bianca dropped her head back and pushed off in the swing. “The rain feels amazing.” She laughed as she swung, rain soaking her hair and clothing. Lightning tore through the sky. The crack of thunder that followed seemed to shake the earth.

Molly didn’t know which was scarier—the black clouds overhead, boiling like a witch’s brew or the echo of Bianca’s laughter as she soared skyward toward the storm. Red hair flying, she winked one black-lined eye at Molly and swung even higher. Molly’s stomach churned along with the rumbling sky.

“I don’t think this is a good idea.” Lenni tucked her blonde hair behind her ear as the wind whipped more strands into her face. “I think I see a funnel.” She pointed to a monstrous cone-shaped cloud just above the train trestle.

“Seriously, Len? We’re in Oklahoma, remember?” Bianca dragged her feet in the red dirt, slowing the swing. “It’s nothing but a thunderstorm. We’re in for a little rain, at most. You might be sweet like sugar, but trust me, you won’t melt.” Bianca rolled her eyes. “Graduation is only eight weeks away. Relax and have some fun on our very last spring break together.”

Molly hiccupped loudly as the swirling cloud Lenni had pointed out dipped below the others. She always got the hiccups when she was scared. “Lenni’s right. We need to take cover.” She shot her gaze around the park, looking for shelter.

“Geez, not you, too, Mol? You’ve lived here long enough to know there’s constantly a storm on the horizon this time of year. People are always dragging one another to the cellar, only to learn it was a false alarm. Besides, do you think those guys would still be working on the trestle if a tornado was overhead?”

A big raindrop splashed the end of Molly’s nose as she looked toward the old trestle. Five or six men in bright orange vests moved quickly along the tracks, climbing over the rails and scurrying under the bridge as the rain began to pour.

Lenni widened her eyes at Molly, her gaze desperate. “The armory building beside the water tower is a community shelter. Maybe we can get in.” She clamped her hands together over her wet hair, holding it in place.

Molly glanced toward the water tower that pierced the angry sky a football-field length away. Could they make it in time? Hailstones pinged off the large metal swing set like warning shots. They had to try.

“Bianca, let’s go!” Molly screamed, the shriek of the wind stealing the words from her mouth and the breath from her lungs.

“No!”

Molly lunged for Bianca’s airborne legs. Bianca’s heavy boots landed in Molly’s chest, knocking her flat on her back in the wet grass.

Bianca jumped from the swing, landing at Molly’s side. “What the heck? Are you crazy?” Her saturated curls whipped in the wind, reminding Molly of Medusa’s snakes. “You’re lucky I’m wearing motorcycle boots instead of stilettos. You’d have been impaled,” Bianca yelled, yanking Molly up by the wrists.

“Look!” Lenni shouted, pointing toward the trestle. A man wearing a hardhat jogged in their direction, scooping his arms through the air, motioning for them to come.

Through the rain, Molly spotted a blur of orange under the bridge—the neon vests of the other workers.

The tornado siren blasted, tearing through the train-like roar of the storm as the girls took off toward the trestle. Bianca caught Molly’s arm as they ran, jerking her close, putting her mouth to Molly’s ear. “One catcall or whistle from any of those guys, and they’ll get a motorcycle boot upside the head!” she shouted.

Leave it to Bianca, looking to set a bunch of railroad workers straight as the world blew to pieces around her.

“In here!” the guy in the hardhat yelled as they neared the trestle. Bianca glared as he shoved her under the bridge beside the huddled railroad crew. Quickly he turned and grasped Lenni’s shoulder, ramming her into Bianca.

“The ground’s soft here. Watch your step!” he shouted in Molly’s ear as he pushed against her back.

She nodded then yelped as a chunk of blowing debris banged hard against her skull. Stars burst behind her eyes as loose rocks shifted beneath her feet. Hardhat Guy wrapped a strong arm around her shoulders, steadying her as he hauled her under the trestle.

“Hold on!” He pressed her fingers to the rusted steel frame of the bridge, squeezing her knuckles beneath his strong hands.

Molly gripped the rail, the rough metal biting into her palm. Rain trickled down the side of her face and into her mouth, tasting like blood.

Suddenly, Hardhat Guy lost his footing as the embankment began to crumble. He lunged for the railing, wrapping his hand around a steel beam as his hardhat jarred from his head and tumbled down the embankment. Molly turned, peeking over her shoulder to see the hat careening into the shallow creek twenty feet below.

The trestle shook as the wind roared even louder. Molly prayed as she held to the vibrating metal, convinced Satan himself must be driving his long black train over the bridge.

Mingled with the ferocious sound of the wind and clatter of hail, she thought she heard whimpering. She opened her eyes and glanced over. Next to her, Lenni held tight to the same beam Molly clutched. In the near-dark, Molly could see her eyes were squeezed shut, her mouth moving silently in prayer. Shaken up, but not crying.

Molly looked to the other side. With only half his body wedged under the shelter, their rescuer struggled to keep his grip on the steel framing. The wind ripped at his dark hair and yanked at his orange vest. His tensed muscles looked like the exposed roots of a sturdy oak tree. At his feet, a small dog whined, its eyes wide with terror. Miraculously, the animal hadn’t been blown away by the wind.

Molly scrunched her body against Lenni’s. Her stomach cartwheeled as her feet slipped, sending more stones rolling down the steep ridge. No use. There wasn’t enough space on the disintegrating ledge for all of them.

The dog pawed at the guy’s jeans, begging to be held, reminding Molly of her own Chihuahua, Boo. Her heart hurt for the scared baby. She pulled her hand from the beam and bent down to scoop up the little dog.

The rescuer beat her to it, using one hand to lift the dog by the nape of the neck and bring it to his chest. His hand trembled wildly on the rail as the wind tried to wrestle him from beneath the bridge. He needed to hold on with both hands.

“Give him here!” Molly yelled, grabbing for the dog.

The gusting wind distorted the guy’s face, turning his brown eyes to slits. Grimacing like a bodybuilder deadlifting three-hundred pounds, he pushed the dog into Molly’s hand.

And then the rescuer was gone. Sucked from beneath the trestle like a stale, floorboard French fry through a hose-vac.

Character Interview from For Our Good by Paula Mowery

ForOurGood_Mowery

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

I’m Colton Thomas, and I live in Knoxville, Tennessee. I’m a corporate pilot and fly co-pilot with my friend, Marshall. I’m the single guy amid several married couple friends. But that’s okay. I have a motorcycle and a boat that fill my time.

Where were you raised?

Born and bred right here in East Tennessee. In fact, my apartment is just moments from the old home place that my parents still own.

Family?

My parents are out of the country, in Africa, on one of those over fifty missionary stents.

What’s your favorite sport to watch?

Well now, most of the folks raised around here are die-hard Tennessee Vol fans. I guess I’m one of those. I do like to watch the football games. Try not to miss one whether watching on TV or in that loud stadium.

Did you always want to be a corporate pilot?

Yes! Since Marshall and I were in school together, we always talked about learning to fly and then somehow doing it together. My mother wasn’t too crazy about it. I learned to fly an airplane before I could legally drive a car.

What do you like most about being a pilot?

What’s not to like? Flying for the doctor we fly for, we get the opportunity to travel many different places. We’ve even flown overseas. I rather like the speed. I detest traveling to any long distances in a car. The scenery is great, and we’ve met so many interesting people.

What attracts you first to a woman?

Now, I’d be lying if I said anything but her physical appearance. But I must say that I would like to meet someone with some depth and independence. I mean, to meet a woman who isn’t so clingy and needy would be a welcomed surprise.

BLURB

Charlie Jarvis is haunted by loss that fuels her desire to rid the world of drug traffickers. When her next assignment takes her back to her hometown, she has to confront her painful past. She has no interest in a relationship since God seems to kill everyone she loves.

Colton Thomas appreciates material things and the status of being a corporate pilot. When someone approaches him to deliver a package for a large sum of money that could wipe out his debts, temptation knocks loud on his door even as his partner, Marshall, slams it shut. Meeting Charlie challenges his non-committal stance with women. As he considers who he has become and the kind of man he would want to be for Charlie, he confronts his own shallow lifestyle and the fear that he would never be able to help her heal her wounds.

As Charlie pursues the man causing young boys to die of overdoses, she struggles with the secrets she keeps from Colton. With people around them shining the light of God and encouraging their courtship, both Charlie and Colton have to face hard truths about life, death, love, and faith. And maybe find a fresh start for them both.

BUY LINK

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EXCERPT

They stood in the shade of the hangar, yet the summer heat caused beads of sweat on his brow. His shirt stuck to his back. He longed for fall, which was just around the corner.

Suddenly, goosebumps crawled up his arms like an arctic blast had blown through the stuffy hangar. Sensing a presence, he turned around. A man approached, dressed all in black. His face was hard and serious. He sauntered up to Colton. His appearance darkened the atmosphere in the hangar and caused a shiver to travel down Colton’s spine.

Marshall moved to Colton’s side and straightened to his full stature. “Can we help you, sir?”

“Yes, I believe you can. I have a parcel that needs to go to Florida, and I understand that’s where you are headed.” The man kept his voice low yet bold. As he spoke, his gaze darted around the hangar.

Colton started to inquire about the package, but Marshall cut him off. “I’m sorry, we can’t help you.”

“Don’t answer too soon.” His lip curled into a smirk and he whipped a briefcase around, using one arm as a tabletop to perch it on. He flipped the latches, and inched the top up.

Colton’s breath caught and he bit back a gasp. The case overflowed with money. Thick stacks of bills.

“There is twenty-five thousand here. When you arrive in Florida, just leave the plane unlocked. You will find another case with another twenty-five in it. That’s all.”

“No, sir. We can’t do that.” Marshall stood stone-still with his eyes trained on the man.

The man clicked the briefcase shut and walked off as quickly as he had appeared.

Colton stood looking after him with his mouth hanging open. He snapped out of his daze and spun around. Finally he found his voice. “I’ve never seen that kind of money before in my life. To think—fifty thousand dollars!”

“It’s not worth ruining your life.” Marshall turned back to his preparation tasks.

“What do you mean?”

Paula Mowery

Paula Mowery is a published author, acquisitions editor, and speaker. Her first two published works were The Blessing Seer and Be The Blessing from Pelican Book Group. Both are women’s fiction, and their themes have been the topics of speaking engagements. Be The Blessing won the Selah Award in 2014 in the novella category. In November of 2013, her first romance released in the anthology, Brave New Century, from Prism Book Group. This book went to number five on Amazon’s bestseller category, historical Christian romance. Legacy and Love was her first solo romance and was a finalist in the Carolyn Readers Choice Awards in 2015.

WEB CONTACTS

You can follow Paula at www.facebook.com/pages/Paula-Mowery/175869562589187. Learn more about Paula at her blog at www.paulamowery.blogspot.com or enjoy her monthly columns on www.christianonlinemagazine.com. You can also check out her blog for Christian writers at www.ccwcu.blogspot.com

Character Interview-The Price of Scorn by Kae Elle Wheeler

Kathy Wheeler, writing as Kae Elle Wheeler, is the author of the Cinderella series and shares the protagonist from her latest title.

The Price of Scorn – book IV gives an insight to Cinderella’s evil stepmother’s horrific life, answering the question of why she was so hateful to one of fairy tales most beloved characters, Cinderella.

Please introduce yourself.

I am Lady Hildegard Berenoir Simmon Roche. More infamously known as Cinderella’s Evil Stepmother. It is a ridiculous title some ninny without the sense of a gnat allotted me!

Where were you raised?

I suppose you could say I was reared in the Alsace Region of France since that is where my mother bore me. Since I was seventeen when my father sold me to a brute old enough to be my grandfather, I came into adulthood rather difficultly, around Avignon.

Family members?

La! Again, with the repetitive and mundane. (sighs) Of course, I was raised by my natural parents, no siblings, as well you can imagine. I witnessed no love lost between the two. But they are dead! And good riddance, I say. I-I do have two lovely and beautiful daughters. Pricilla and Esmeralda. One, of which, would be Queen of Chalmers, if not for my conniving stepdaughter.

Did you attend university?

University? Women do not attend University! Alas, I regret I did not put more effort in my studies. Perhaps things might have worked out differently.

You were a wife and mother then, yes? Did you always aspire to your role?

(softly) Mais oui. I did….at one time, it was all I dreamed.(harshly) For one man. That dream crashed in the blink of an eye. No more questions of him, síl vous plait.

What of extracurricular activities?

What strange questions you pose. I do not embroidery. I suppose my time was spent ensuring my daughters’ safety, um, as well as my own. It was a constant activity.

I suppose you read then. What did you like?

Reading! Bah. Who had time to read when married to a monster?

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you?

(sneers)I suppose it was witnessing my mother’s death at the hand of my father…I recall wondering if I’d imagined the entire episode…I thought I’d gone…mad. Is that what you mean?

Is there a place you’d always dreamed in visiting?

I once begged Maman to run away with me to London—anywhere really—to escape Papa’s cruelty. (flinches) She slapped my face. I-I can still feel the sting. I only wished to keep her…safe. (clears throat) My intentions were not appreciated.

PriceScorn_CVR_MED

 

BLURB

Fairy tales don’t always end happily…

Lady Hilda Roche lies upon her deathbed fourteen years after Cinderella and Prince Charming are coroneted as Queen and King of Chalmers. She has nothing but resentment for the stepdaughter who culminates all that was ripped from her. In a tale of heartbreak, the sisters learn how tragedy shaped their mother into the woman she became. The question is: Can the sister forgive her?

BUY LINKS

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Kobo: http://bit.ly/1U7GLTP

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1033703193

Print: https://www.createspace.com/5602034

EXCERPT

Hilda squinted in the afternoon sun over the array of blooms that normally calmed her. “Lord Roche,” she began. “I cannot—” The words were more difficult to say than she’d envisioned. Her knees shook beneath her skirts and she forced herself to move, lest she collapse. At the low terrace wall, she laid her hands atop.

“Please, your grace. I must apologize for placing you in such a precarious position.”

She glanced at him, his earnest expression tugging at her.

He began to pace. “’Tis true. As I said, I am looking for a wife. But, I feel there is something truly special about you.”

Her short laugh erupted at the irony. “Me, special? Lord Ro—”

“I have not explained to anyone why I need a wife.”

Hilda paused.

He stopped before her, captured her gaze. “Anyone can see how much you love your children. Your face lights up the dark just saying Lady Pricilla’s name.”

Something inside melted a little. “Oui, Lord Roche. That is so. She—they—are my world,” she said softly. Steeling herself against long dead dreams, she straightened and her tone sharpened. “That changes nothing, sir.”

“Do you fear for your children?”

“Every day,” she bit out, feeling as if Gustaf still had his hand gripped about her throat, squeezing.

“They’ve nothing to fear from me.”

She looked away from his gaze back over the garden. She almost believed him. But a woman was always under a man’s control.

KLWbioPicKathy L Wheeler (writing as Kae Elle Wheeler) graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a BA in Management Information Systems that includes a vocal minor. She is an avid theater buff (holds season tickets to Broadway Series in OKC), loves the NFL and NBA (also holds season tickets to Thunder Basketball in OKC), loves travel, people and karaoke.

She is a member of several RWA chapters, including OKRWA, DARA, and The Beau Monde. She writes both Contemporary and Historical romance.

Kathy/Kae lives with her musically talented husband in Edmond, Oklahoma, has one grown daughter who recently had a baby, and one bossy cat!

Social media:

http://kathylwheeler.com

http://facebook.com/kathylwheeler

http://twitter.com/kathylwheeler

Character Interview–Phillippe Marchant from The Good Girl

Today author Tracy Reed’s hero, Phillippe Marchant, from The Good Girl is being interviewed.

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

My name is Phillippe Marchant, and I am currently the President of Morgan Grant Holdings. My professional life is a little complicated. At the present that’s all I am at liberty to say regarding my professional life. I spent my childhood between Europe and the United States. My mother is American and my father was African and French. I just ended a three-year relationship with a woman I was considering marrying. However, we didn’t see eye to eye on my career choices. She wanted a CEO, not a husband. She thought my taking the position at Morgan Grant was a step down. Her decision to break up with me makes me all the more glad I never disclosed the details of my contract with Morgan Grant.

Did you attend college?

I earned both my Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Stanford. I chose Stanford, because it was close to my grandfather who lives in San Mateo.

Do you have any hobbies?

That’s a good question. I love art and have a decent collection. I love discovering new talent as well as appreciating some of the great masters. I think my love of art is something I inherited from my grandfather. He has a very impressive collection. My collection includes African and French paintings and sculptures. I also, love photography. I’ve been experimenting for a few years and even set up a dark room in my apartment. I have one of my pieces in my office. It’s a black and white of my dad’s hands. To me it symbolizes strength and it’s like having a little piece of him with me.

Are you athletic?

I wouldn’t say I’m athletic. However, I like working out. I run, box, lift weights and push my body. For me, being physically fit increases my ability to function in the work place.

What attracts you first to a woman?

I’m a guy. It’s obvious the first thing that attracts me to a woman is her body and the way she carries herself. I consider myself a connoisseur of beautiful women.

My type…in the past, was tall and model like. However, that’s changed. I like petite with curves. There’s just something about the sway of a woman’s hips as she walks that does something to me. Not to mention the beautiful curve of her back that leads down to her ample pear shaped behind. Man, that curve is the sexiest part of a woman’s body. Until recently, I didn’t realize how much I liked having a soft curvy woman in my arms. The other thing I’m attracted to, is a smile. For me, a beautiful smile translates into confidence and that really turns me on. I don’t think there’s anything more sexy, than a confident curvy woman.

Are you talking about a particular woman?

Could be. Next question.

Talk about your favorite setting for a date. (or favorite way to court a woman)

I see you’re still trying to find out who I was describing. I’ll answer both.

My favorite way to court a woman is by talking to her. I discovered that when you talk to a woman and show an interest in her and her interests, she finds that very romantic. As for my favorite date setting, that’s easy. I like to take my dates to places that are of interest to them. If she likes art, then I’ll book a private tour at a museum or a gallery showing before getting something to eat. How the date ends depends on the time of day. If it’s lunch maybe espresso and dessert in the park. If it’s in the evening, maybe hitting a jazz club, followed by drinks and a light snack or maybe a drive and a late night dessert picnic before calling it a night.

Good Girl

 

Blurb
Gabriella Townsend has been patiently waiting for her dream job.  When she’s presented with the dream, it’s not exactly what she was expecting.  She was hoping to work her way up the corporate ladder.  Instead, one phone call and an office number on a slip of paper, lands her on the executive floor.

After a month working for the elusive, handsome and sexy, Phillippe Marchant, he offers her a life-changing assignment…the position of “girlfriend.” Terrified of her feelings for him and the possibility of losing her job, she’s not sure what to do.

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EXCERPT
I should have answered at least one of his calls last night, or listened to one of his messages. I don’t like not being prepared for a meeting. Being pissed off is one thing. Being unprofessional is not acceptable.
I wasn’t sure where we were going today, so I didn’t know how to prepare. I may have, if I hadn’t been so stubborn.

Suddenly, a shadow blocked the sunlight that was shining down on me. I looked up and Phillippe was standing next to me. Crap. How are we supposed to keep things professional, if he insists on looking so freaking hot all the time?

“Mind if I join you?” I pointed to the empty chair across from me and closed my iPad. He sat down and took off his sunglasses. His cologne surrounded the intimate space. I took a deep breath and tried not to let his gorgeous face distract me. “I want to apologize for my behavior last night. It wasn’t you, it was me. My last relationship left me with a lot of scars and I’m a little…”

“Scared.”

“Cautious.” He nodded with a slight smile. “You came in here and shook up my world. I’ve been trying to fight these feelings I have for you, but they won’t go away.” He moved to the edge of the chair. “I need you on my team, but more importantly, I want you in my life. So how do we handle this?”

I bit my bottom lip and looked into his eyes. “You’re assuming I feel the same.”

Tracy Reed

FIND TRACY HERE:

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 BLOG:

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Character Interview–The Protector by Diane Burton

 

Please introduce yourself for those who haven’t met you in your author’s other books.

I’m Rissa Dix (that’s pronounced Deece, as you know if you read the other Outer Rim books). I run a tavern in Astron Colony on Galeria 7. I mean Galeriana. The Powers That Be decided to give our planet an official name. I’m still not used to it. Anyway, my tavern caters to space crews and miners. Two companies mine the valuable minerals up in the nearby mountains. Thank the Matriarch they all don’t come at the same time.

Tell us about your family.

What family? My father is/was (I have no idea if he’s still alive) an itinerate preacher. He dragged my mother and me from colony to colony until she had enough and went back to our home planet. I was 12 and wanted to go with her. My father insisted I stay with him, until the day he abandoned me in the worst outpost on the hind end of the universe. How could he preach morality when accompanied by his unmarried pregnant daughter?

How did your upbringing influence who you are today?

I vowed nobody would make me leave my child behind. I’d protect her with all my might. Or so I thought until traffickers stole her <swallows hard> from the sitter while I was at work. I’ve been searching for her ever since.

What was your first thought when you met the hero?

He was a kid. Tall, gangly, bony shoulders that hinted at what he’d look like as an adult. He and his friends—rich kids from the Central Planets who had too many credits, no supervision, and fast starships—came to Astron to rock climb. They were reckless, thrill-seeking fools. To be honest, Dillan was different from the other boys. Instead of hitting the pleasure house across the street with his friends, he hung around my tavern. He helped me a lot, serving thirsty miners and even cleaning up the place after close. I tried shooing him away, but he always came back. I could see he was infatuated with me, the older fem. He was 16, I was 24. For 10 years, I tried to discourage him.

Why did you fall for him?

Who says I did? When he returned after a 6-year absence, I didn’t even recognize him as he helped my friends and I rescue a bunch of kids from a slave ship. Whoa, had he ever changed. He wasn’t a kid anymore. He was a 32-year-old man. I’m a big fem, tall and strong. I have to be to survive on the Frontier. But he’s taller with broad shoulders and a real presence. His sense of humor is irritating but makes me smile. A little. His dogged insistence that we belong together despite our 8-year age difference drives me crazy. I wasn’t going to succumb to his cute smile or the desire lurking in his eyes. Or his kisses. Well, you know what they say about the road to Lexol being paved with good intentions.

Why did you choose your occupation?

It sort of happened. What kind of a job is there for fems with little formal education on the Frontier? I sure wasn’t going to be a pleasure provider. Not that there’s anything wrong with that life if a fem chooses it. Owning a tavern isn’t for the weak. Morning to night, it’s work, work, work. But it’s worth it. I’m my own boss. I take care of what’s mine.

What is the biggest hurdle you had to overcome?

<swallows a sob> Losing my baby daughter to traffickers. I spent years searching for her, worrying about her, praying that she was safe. Did they sell her to a good family? Or was she raised to be a prosti? When worry made me so sick I almost died, I knew I had to close off that part of my life. I never stopped looking for her, but I can’t be around babies. Too much pain knowing I’ll never see my child again.

Do you have any hobbies?

Who has time for hobbies? I’m up at dawn to make bread and stew for the customers. Even though I close the tavern at Mid-Night, I still have work to do, tallying receipts, cleaning and preparing for the next day. I don’t even have time to read. That’s why I gave my reader to a girl I rescued. It’s uncanny how much she looks like me at 15. Now she imitates my walk, my mannerisms, even wears her dark hair in one long braid the way I do. I’ve grown quite attached to her. She’s the daughter of my heart.

How would you spend a free day?

Sleep. Actually, Dillan wouldn’t let me. He’d bully me into doing something fun with him, like the time he made me go on vacation with him to a rainforest. He took me up into the canopy. A fantastic sight! When I had to traverse the space between platforms, I was scared to death. He made me go anyway. What a thrill. But the best part was sliding down to the ground. I finally understood what Dillan felt all those years ago. Thrills and excitement like I’d never experienced. I wouldn’t have enjoyed it so much if I’d know what was to come.

The Protector - Cover 750

Blurb

After tavern owner Rissa Dix rescues two girls from a slave ship, she must rally the townsfolk to prevent traffickers from raiding the frontier colony. She’s met with apathy and disbelief. Because she lost her own baby to traffickers, she’s determined that no other mother will suffer the same heartache. Industrialist heir Dillan Rusteran aids her in rescuing more children. Little do they know they’re about to tangle with a trafficking ring that puts Rissa in danger. Dillan’s loved her for years despite her claim she’s too old for him. As they fight the traffickers, will she finally see him in a new light?

Excerpt

When she heard the rustle, Rissa stopped in the middle of the sanitary. “Whoever you are, come out. Right now.”

Another rustle then the sound of feet lightly hitting the floor. The lock slid open then slowly the door moved.

“Please,” a soft voice whispered. “Don’t hurt us.”

That sounded like a young girl.

“Come out where I can see you.” Rissa, too, whispered.

A tall, dark-haired teen stepped out, followed by a smaller girl with light brown hair. They both looked terrified. Their hair was matted and dirt smudged their faces. Their clothes were filthy. The smells emanating from them contributed to the general san-fac odors. Rissa did her best not to react.

Holding the other girl behind her, the tall one stepped forward, jutting out her chin. “We are not going back.”

“O-kay. Back where?”

“You can’t make us. We’ll escape again.”

Rissa had to admire her bravado. “You escaped? From where?”

“Did they send you in here to get us?”

Since the taller one seemed to be the spokesperson, Rissa kept her eyes on her. Something about her was compelling. Rissa could be looking at herself at the same age. Then it hit her hard, like a blow to the stomach. That was what Miri would have looked like at that age. Same strong Traishan features—olive skin, dark hair and eyes. Same strong will.

Rissa took a deep breath to steady herself before locking the outer door. “Nobody sent me. You asked for help. What can I do?”

“Get us out of here before they discover we’re gone.” Despite the strength in the tall girl’s voice, she worked hard to keep her chin from wobbling.

“Who?” Rissa was afraid she knew.

“Those men. The Chellians. We can’t go back. We won’t.”

By the Matriarch, traffickers.

Her lungs seized, her heart hurt so badly Rissa clutched her chest. Be strong, she told herself. Pull yourself together. No traffickers had ever come to Astron Colony before. Or even to Galeriana. She had to help the girls get away.

She glanced at the window on the far wall.

“We couldn’t open it,” the smaller girl sobbed. “We were trying when you came in. We thought you were them.”

Since Rissa was taller, she could easily reach the window. With a shove, she got it open. “Come.” She motioned to the tall girl. “You first. You can catch your friend. She’s too small to catch you.”

She cupped her hands for the girl’s foot. “Hide outside. I’ll come around and take you somewhere safe.” At the girls’ wary looks, she added, “I promise. Now go before someone comes looking for us.”

Rissa boosted her up to the open window. The tall girl hoisted herself through, disappeared for a moment then stuck her head inside.

“The ground is higher out here. Come, Anaris.” She held out her arms.

The small girl, Anaris, gave Rissa a panicked look. “You’ll come for us?”

The door rattled. “Hey,” a male yelled. “Open up.”

Anaris gave her a panicked look.

“Gimme a min,” Rissa yelled back.

“I promise to come for you,” Rissa whispered then gave her a boost. Like the tall girl, Anaris disappeared through the window.

As Rissa reached to close it, the tall girl was there about to do the same. “Thank you.” She shut the window and ducked out of sight.

Hoping they would wait for her, Rissa walked out of the san-fac. A mech glared at her. “Whadda mean by locking the door?”

“Didn’t want you walking in on me.” She glanced over at a commotion near the freighter where she’d just delivered supplies. “What’s going?”

The pilot was yelling and his two crewmen were darting between ships, searching.

“Damn offworlder.” The mech brushed past her into the san-fac.

When the pilot saw her, he yelled, “What did you do with them?”

Rissa looked around to see who he was shouting at.

“You there.” He stormed up to her. “Where are those two girls?”

She affected a confused expression. “What girls?”

“My cargo, I mean passengers. Damn you to Lexol’s Fire. How did you get them out?”

The pilot’s slip confirmed what Rissa feared. The girls she helped escape had been cargo. The pilot and crew were slavers, bastards who trafficked in children. A primal urge swept through her. Kill them. Kill them now.

BUY LINKS

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Diane Burton

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and The Case of the Bygone Brother, a PI mystery. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and three grandchildren.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com

Connect with Diane Burton online

Blog:  http://dianeburton.blogspot.com/

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/dmburton72

Facebook:  http://facebook.com/dianeburtonauthor

Goodreads: Diane Burton Author

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Books by Diane Burton:

Switched

Switched, Too

Switched Resolution

The Pilot: An Outer Rim Novel

The Chameleon: An Outer Rim Novel

The Protector: An Outer Rim Novel

One Red Shoe

The Case of the Bygone Brother: An Alex O’Hara Novel

How I Met My Husband (contributor)

Character Interview–Blackout by M.J. Schiller

Blackout_CVR_MED

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

Hi, I’m Eli Batronis. So, you mean basics like single, white male, from those personal ads? Well, I guess I’m all of those things. I’ve worked construction for most of my life in New York City, but I recently moved to Chicago, where I bartend and attend school. I enjoyed working construction. Good, hard, physical work that clears your mind. You really shouldn’t be thinking of much from twenty stories up, other than your work, and not falling off the girder you’re standing on. I like being in the outdoors, too, and being able to physically see the progress of your work and leave a part of yourself behind at each job.

Where were you raised?

I’m from Beacon, New York, but we left there when I was seven. When my father died. I’ve lived in New York City until just recently, so I guess I’d call that home. I moved to Chicago. I had to leave because of Faith. So that I could make myself a better man.

Family members?

Just me and my mom. And I guess you could include her new husband, Al. He’s a great guy, actually.

Did you attend college?

Not until I was the oldster in the classroom. I went back to school to study architecture. So I could be the guy designing the buildings instead of just the one doing all of the grunt work.

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you?

Geez! That’d be a tie. I met the woman that I love in a blackout when our elevator crashed. I guess you’d call that pretty crazy. And I saved a guy once from doing a headfirst dive off one of our construction sites, several stories up. That was definitely crazy. Faith would say certifiable.

Talk about your favorite setting for a date. (or favorite way to court a woman)

Okay, this is going to sound totally corny, and I understand that a lot of women wouldn’t like this, but Faith did, and that’s all that mattered. I liked to take her to all those lousy touristy places in New York. You know, Times Square, Central Park, Rockefeller Center… She’d always dreamed of seeing them. But work and a lack of funds got in her way, so I wanted to be the one to show them to her.

What attracts you first to a woman?

Well, you know…I’m a guy, so…*clears throat*  I’d have to say her body, her looks. And then, I hate to say it, but I’d look for a shallowness about her. The sense that she was only into me for the physical nature of the relationship, too. But that was all before I met Faith. Faith is beautiful inside and out, and I knew it right from the start. Right from the moment I first laid eyes on her. Meeting her was a total game changer.

Welding Steel Structure on Structure In Workshop

Howdy! I’m Max Theobald and I’m the hero of BLACKOUT so I thought I’d just sort of hijack this here interview and let you know a few things about myself. I used to work with Eli in construction while I was finishing up med school, but now I’m an intern.

Where were you raised?

Albany, New York. My parents are both doctors there. That’s why I went into the profession. That, and the fact that, although I like to kid around a lot, I really do like helping people, as unoriginal as that sounds.

Are you athletic?

Doesn’t it show? Nah. There I go again, joking with ya. I wouldn’t call myself an athlete, but I do enjoy running.

Are you a pet person?

I wouldn’t mind having a pooch. Or a cat, if Faith wanted one. But apartment living isn’t very conducive to having pets.

What are your reading tastes?

Somewhat eclectic. I like the classics. Yes, even Shakespeare. I love a good spy book, Tom Clancy or the like. Any kind of thriller. I think I own every Stephen King book ever written, including his biography! I’ve even read a romance or two. When stuck on a late shift without reading material.

Where did you go for your most recent vacation?

I traveled extensively with my folks, but my favorite trip was my most recent one to Hawaii with Faith. It was incredible. Seeing things again through her eyes gives them a sort of magical quality.

Talk about your favorite setting for a date.

Well, unlike Eli I like to wine and dine my women. Take them to the best places. But honestly, the best times I’ve had with Faith have been doing everyday stuff. Like washing the dishes. That woman can do some mean things with a dishtowel, let me tell you!

What attracts you first to a woman?

Well, like Eli I used to go in for just the physical. The prettier the better. Faith, of course, is gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. But not in that polished, made-up kind of way. Damn! I never thought I’d be the sap heartsick over some woman. Just goes to show you—you just never know what life has in store for you. Even when you think you do.

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M.J. Schiller profile pic (picmonkeyed)

 

Character Interview From The Soldier’s Love by Kara O’Neal

The Soldier's Love

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

My name is Frank Dawson, and I am a First Lieutenant at Fort Robertson in Nebraska.

Where were you raised?

I was raised in a town in Texas called Pikes Run.

Family members?

Uh….several. Too many to list here, really. But each one is so important to me. Can’t get through life without them.

Did you always want to be a soldier?

Not at all. The woman I loved since I was fourteen decided to go to college instead of marry me. I didn’t take that well, so I left Pikes Run and joined the army. Truthfully, I hoped someone would put me out of misery, but thankfully that didn’t happen, and now I’m happily married to the woman who turned me down. We’re waiting for my papers of release to come through so we can go back to Texas, and I can go into the realty business with my pa.

List your favorite book of all time.

My favorite book will be The Chronicles of Sir Pendergast. My wife has a penchant for making up stories, and I’ve finally convinced her to write them down. She’s gonna be an author, I’m sure of it.

Talk about your favorite setting for courting a woman.

I’ve only courted one, but I’d have to say I did it well. We spent a lot of time on the banks of Pikes Run. With the moonlight, the babbling brook, the crickets singing….She didn’t stand a chance.

BLURB

When Jane Lonnigan refused to marry him, Frank Dawson got the hell out of Pikes Run and joined the army. As he took risk after risk, hoping someone would put him out of his misery, he consequently rose in ranks. Now he’s a First Lieutenant stationed at Fort Robertson, a crack shot, and the main communicator to the Chipsa tribe.

Frank broke Jane’s heart when he refused to wait for her to complete her education. Still, as she embarked on her journey to becoming a teacher, she couldn’t stop loving him. Her first teaching post is for the children of Riley Creek, the town Fort Robertson protects.

When Frank realizes Jane has become a fixture of the settlement he is a part of, he sets out to guard himself from being twice a fool. But as life swirls around them, Frank can’t help but return to her again and again.

A mistake causes Frank to hurt Jane and make her believe all hope is lost. She runs home, needing the welcoming arms of her family. When Frank learns what he’s done, he realizes he’s been a fool. He races after her, intent on winning her back. Can he mend her heart and have Jane as his wife?

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EXCERPT

First Lieutenant Frank Dawson raced across the newly fallen snow, the bite of the wind searing his cheeks and burning his throat. He kept his gaze on the road ahead, galloping over the land, searching for the stage carrying the schoolteacher.

Three Rivers had come to him, his old eyes worried. Chief Etu had sent his trusted scout to tell Frank warriors had rebelled against his orders and went to intercept the coach. Frank had reassured the Chipsa chief the arrival of the teacher wouldn’t threaten his lands, and the wise chief had agreed. Despite Frank and Chief Etu’s efforts, there were factions of Chipsa seeking war, and now Frank raced to stop the renegades.

Other riders galloped beside him, his Second Lieutenant, Hunter McCoy, and Privates Timothy Elliott and Quincy Peterson. They hadn’t had time to assemble an adequate response of soldiers, but Three Rivers had told Frank only a few rebels had ignored Chief Etu’s command.

His heart pounding hard, he pushed Rounder, his horse, to go faster, desperate to save the woman courageous enough to educate the children of Riley Creek. The ground gleamed white against the deep blue of the sky. The land flattened ahead of them, and Frank bent low over Rounder’s neck, the beast breathing mightily as they bolted down the snow-covered road.

His blood pumped with determination when he heard the wild jangle of horse livery, the frantic rumble of the wheels and the whoops of the braves hunting the coach. Frank and his men crested the rise, giving their own cries of attack as their object came into view. Frank pulled sharp on the reins as his comrades flew past him. Rounder reared against the abrupt stop, but Frank kept his seat.

As the other soldiers darted toward the racing stage, Frank pulled out his long range rifle and took aim. Rounder had been trained to recognize his master’s intent and moved not a muscle. Steadily, Frank drew a bead on the lead warrior. Tracking his progress, Frank didn’t hesitate and pulled the trigger. One second after the shot rang, the rebel’s arms flew skyward, and he somersaulted over the back of his horse.

There were three more warriors, and the other soldiers bore down on them, firing their six guns with accuracy and speed. The Chipsa renegades fell, snow flying upwards as their bodies hit the ground. Frank kicked his horse into a lope, the urgency not as great now that the Indians had been stopped.

As he neared, the coach changed course and turned toward Riley Creek, coming at Frank. The driver remained standing, pulling hard on the reins as he worked to get the horses to slow. The shotgunner climbed over the baggage rack and tumbled into his seat.

The stage came to a stop as Frank drew abreast of the conveyance. The driver and shotgunner wheezed in unison, their chests heaving as sweat slid over their red faces.

“Are y’all all right?” Frank asked. “Any casualties?”

“Damn near thought they had us,” the driver panted out. “My girls were slowin’.” He jabbed a thumb at his partner. “And this fool didn’t get a one of ‘em.”

The shotgunner whipped his hat off and started smacking the driver. “You try shootin’ straight on top of a jumpin’ stage!”

The driver howled and put up his arms, protecting himself.

“It was your damn drivin’ what kept me from doin’ my job!”

Frank sighed and left the two to fight it out. He dismounted and walked to the side of the conveyance, ready to handle whatever state the schoolteacher might exhibit. When he opened the door, he found her huddled on the ground, her arms covering her head. Even through her bulky coat and woolen gloves, he could see she trembled.

“Ma’am?” he called. “It’s over. You’re safe.”

She flinched.

“I’m a soldier at Fort Robertson, ma’am. Have no fear.” He wanted to reach out and help her stand, but he wondered if the action would alarm her further. Was she in shock? As he opened his mouth to reassure her of her safety once more, she lifted her head.

His heart dropped to his toes when her blue gaze met his. Jane. As his brain worked to function, his heart seemed to revitalize in an instant, pounding so hard he couldn’t catch his breath. Jane.

“F-Frank?” she said, relief drenching her tone.

The sound of her voice… To hear his name on her lips after an almost two year absence… He clenched his hands into fists, fighting the urge to snatch her to him.

She moved to her knees, her limbs still shaking. Raising her arms to him, she said, “I c-can’t believe it’s y-you.”

Tears swam in the eyes he’d once adored. Her outstretched plea sliced at the organ she’d effortlessly killed when she’d refused to marry him. His spine rigid, he warred against lifting her from the stage. But the shock of seeing her, the fact she’d been the woman the braves had been trying to kill, was impossible to combat.

Moving forward, he fit his hands around her waist, the feel of her so familiar he almost groaned aloud, and pulled her to him. She circled his neck with her forearms, fitting her nose against his neck, just as she’d always done. The feel of her against him had him swallowing hard over the lump in his throat.

Unable to stop himself, he curled his arms around her, noting the weakness of her body as she leaned fully into him.

“I was so s-scared,” she confessed, her voice quivering. “And here you are. I c-can’t believe you’re here. You s-saved me.”

 

Kara (1 of 1)

Kara O’Neal was born and raised in Texas.  After surviving those awkward years of 7 to 16, she spent two years at Sam Houston State University where she met her husband.  He followed her to Texas Tech University and was proud when she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Development.  Soon after graduation Kara followed her heart and became certified to teach Special Education.

She married the love of her life in 1998 and had three children.  The happiest times of her life are spent with her family and friends.  Kara is fortunate to be surrounded by the best and most amazing people God put on this earth.

When she was pregnant with her oldest child, Kara wrote her first novel.  And then rewrote it.  And rewrote it again.  She did this while teaching, raising kids, and traveling across Texas with her husband.

Becoming an author was a dream she stumbled upon.  With the encouragement of her family and friends, she didn’t discard this risky adventure.  At this time, she would like to express her gratitude to her husband, parents, siblings, children, and friends for their support, love, and suggested revisions.

ONLINE CONTACTS

Website: www.karaoneal.com

Email: kara@karaoneal.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/KaraONeal84

Twitter: @KaraONealAuthor

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Character Interview from The Dream Jumper’s Promise

Today I’m hosting an interview with the hero from Kim Hornsby’s The Dream Jumper’s Promise.

The Dream Jumper's Promise-Kindle cover2 Jeannine

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

My name is Jamey Dunn. I’m a former Seattle cop and current Special Forces soldier, stationed in Afghanistan, now on extended leave. I can’t tell you what I do over there and I know people joke about saying because then I’d have to kill you, but in my case it’s true. Or almost. If you knew there’d be hell to pay on my end and maybe some deprogramming from a guy called Milton, so let’s just leave it at that. Moving on.

Where were you raised?

I was born and raised in Carnation, Washington, a small town on the Tolt River east of Seattle. It’s really pretty there with snow-capped mountains in the distance on a clear day. Mostly farming there. Lots of red barns, miles of crops, winding roads, friendly people. I lived in the same house my whole life and my Pops still lives there on the river on ten acres. It’s kind of a rundown house now but when anyone drives up they’re invited inside for a cup of coffee at our big kitchen table. Pops will chew your ear off with questions about yourself. (He smiles) He might even get out the Scrabble board so don’t go if you don’t have time for a long visit.

Did you attend college?

I tried. See I have this ability to read people way beyond what others can do. I call it hyper-intuition. I’m different. My life has been a wild ride trying to deal with knowing what people are going to say before they say it. Same with school. I knew test answers, most times, before I thought about what the question meant. I dropped out of college after one semester and went to the Seattle Police Academy where I thought my ‘gift’ would be put to better use than if I became a communications major. It was a good place to land for a long time.

Jamey 051115Are you athletic?

Well (he laughs) I guess you could say I’m athletic. When I’m over in the Sandbox I train obsessively in the gym because it’s good to be in shape over there, you know. There isn’t that much to do when you’re waiting for a mission. But, I could never really play team sports for the same reason college didn’t work. I had this unfair advantage of knowing what was going to happen half the time. It isn’t exact, but still. It was a matter of ethics. Even when I was decorated as a policeman, I felt shitty, like I’d used skills other people didn’t have. Back to athletics–I like to challenge myself, work on personal best times. It takes the place of sex. (he laughs) Not much of that over in Afghanistan.

Did you always want to be a cop?

No. I had dreams of wanting to be an astronaut and stuff but you have to remember that I had this intuition and these visions early. Since I was five, I guess. Five or six. And it was scary. I always knew I was different. My Uncle Don had it too and he was a cop, so by the time I was a teenager, I thought I’d follow in his footsteps. And before you ask if I’d always wanted to be a soldier, I never wanted to be a soldier. I still don’t. They drafted me sort of forcibly if you can call guilt forcibly. They have me by the short hairs to work for them. After my divorce it seemed like I should do something with my life rather than hang around Carnation and stare at my ex-wife and daughters, so I put everything I had into finding…Hey, tricky! I almost told you what I do over there in Afghanistan. You are very good, you know that. And I don’t mind telling you that I see a chunk of money coming your way in the next year to two years. See how handy that intuition is? I’m like a walking fortune cookie. (He laughs)

Talk about your favorite setting for a date.

Probably my favorite date ever was with a dive instructor who certified me on Maui, ten years ago. We went diving in the morning, then flirted all through lunch, laughed a lot and when I picked her up to see if she weighed 115 and told her she was more like 114, something just happened between us. At the time I was staying at the Hyatt on Maui and let’s just say that we didn’t come out of that room until she had to dive the next morning. That was a perfect, unofficial date. Maui, a girl who was crazy cute and a hotel room that overlooked the ocean.

What attracts you first to a woman?

Geez, it’s been so long since I’ve been really attracted to a woman. That’s not to say I swing the other way. I like women. Let me see. I think you’re cute. Does that count? I guess I’d say that sweetness and confidence is an initial turn on. I like the chase, like any man. I enjoy being the predator. Don’t get me wrong though. I’m not a weirdo like that. As a matter of fact, aside from a few one night stands at Ramstein Air Base in Germany on leave, I haven’t had a real relationship since my wife and that was almost ten years ago. And before that, it was Tina, the cutest dive instructor a horny guy like me could ask for on a Maui vacation. But don’t get me started on Tina Greene because it ended badly. See, a guy like me with all this inside information, has to watch what he does. I have to be really careful. I knew too much about Tina and… Well, let’s just say, she was really something. If I’ve ever been truly in love in my life, it was her. The way her nose kind of turned up at the end, the little freckles on the bridge of her nose, the way she walked all over Lahaina in a bikini, like she owned the place. She looked like a naughty girl next door, you know. And she was so incredibly funny. Man, could she make me laugh! Even in bed, she was a crack up. Wonder what ever happened to her. Well, I guess I already know that answer because of my intuition. Next question.

Where did you go for your most recent vacation?

I’m here. Maui. I’m on leave after this incident I can’t talk about in Afghanistan and after playing soccer with my twin daughters and helping them with fifth grade math for three weeks, I decided to fly over here. My Pops has a nice condo he rents up in Kapalua so I just chill up there, walk the beach, drink beer, think about what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. My niece, Katie, who is Gavin’s oldest kid, works for a dive shop and I think I’ll jump on a few dive charters, try to use my scuba skills while I’m here. Matter of fact, I’m headed in to the place she works tomorrow to see if I can jump on a boat. Guess I shouldn’t say the word jump these days but I can’t talk about that aspect of my life. Sorry.

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BLURB:

Tina Green’s husband is presumed dead from a Maui surfing accident and now she’s being haunted by otherwordly dreams. When former boyfriend, Jamey Dunn, turns up at her Lahaina dive shop and offers to help, she can’t believe his preposterous claim — he can enter dreams. Along with her friend, Noble, they piece together clues to her husband’s disappearance, but secrets, lies, and heartbreak rise to the ugly surface to reveal that one person is an impostor, one a traitor, and one is flirting with insanity.

Kim is an award winning Seattle writer of fiction. Two of her published novels are Amazon Bestsellers, having reached the #1 spot in Romantic Suspense and Paranormal Romance. She writes daily, blogs weekly, publishes bi-yearly for Top Ten Press, Cajun Flair Publishing and the Wild Rose Press. Suspense, Romance and the Supernatural are themes threaded throughout most of her work.
A mother, a wife, a messy housekeeper, a dog lover, and a voracious reader, Kim was born in Belleville, Canada, then lived in Vancouver, Maui, Whistler, Taipei and now makes Seattle her home. Travel is extremely important to her and plane tickets are usually found on her desk.

Kim loves to hear from readers!

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