CONTEST WINNER ANNOUNCED: CATHY M, you are the winner of COVER OF DARKNESS. You didn't leave an email address so please contact Kaylea via her contact page on her website: www.kayleacross.com
1. Okay, let’s start with the obvious. Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?
-Sure, I’m the mother of two little guys, and aside from writing I work part time as a Registered Massage Therapist here in Vancouver, BC. (Even though I started out with a degree in history and archaeology. Go figure.) I plan on becoming a full time romance author as soon as my guys are in school though.
Does that mean if I come to visit you'll give me a free massage??
2. What type of romance do you write?
-I write mostly romantic suspense (usually military themed), but some historical romance as well (although it’s military too, since it’s about the Civil War).
3. Since I know you, I'm almost afraid to ask this but how much research do you typically have to do for one of your books?
-Well, I’m a bit of a freak about this, so I usually read at least two or three non-fiction titles about whatever branch of military special ops my hero is, and then another about the war zone they’re operating in. But I like doing it! It’s odd, I know, but I read strictly romance and military/historical non-fiction.
Thanks to you, I now have a copy of Lone Survivor and Inside Delta Force on my bookshelf…Of course I still haven’t read them, but my husband has :)
If possible I like to interview soldiers too, to get their take on things or run a scenario past them. I know I write fiction, but I’d like it to be realistic fiction. And don’t even get me started on researching the Civil War. You’d all fall asleep long before I finished that conversation.
4. What is your writing process?
-Because I’m an anal retentive control freak, I like to plot everything out first, scene by scene. Otherwise I get bogged down with “what’s next?”, and I hate spinning my wheels, especially since I have very limited writing time most days with my two weasels—er, children—running around underfoot. Through trial and error, I’ve found that the more detail I can put into my outline, the smoother the drafting phase is for me. I really like it when that part goes smoothly J.
I’m jealous. That’s all I’m gonna say about that.
5. How long have you been writing?
-I’ve been “writing” since I was little, but only seriously as an author for about six years. Now I wish I’d started sooner!
6. Tell us something about yourself that we might not know.
-Okay, but you might be sorry you asked, lol. For whatever reason, I’m a huge Civil War freak. Over the years I’ve dragged my poor family, and then the man I married, to pretty much every major battlefield of the Eastern theater of the war. But it’s okay, because hubby wound up proposing to me on one of them during a reenactment. Hands down, that’s the most romantic thing he’s ever done and I still get all warm and fuzzy when I think about it. That's insanely sweet! We had a Civil War wedding in which I made him dress up in a Yankee cavalry officer’s uniform (OMG, he was gorgeous), and all my bridesmaids wore Gone With the Wind style dresses (yeah, they hated me :)). I have a weapon collection mounted in a place of honor in a special gun case, and just before my wedding I went off and got a Civil War tattoo. My husband was, um…thrilled (that’s sarcasm, in case you couldn’t tell).
Your Civil War obsession cracks me up, but I can’t believe I didn’t know that about you! (The tattoo). I demand pictures!
7. Who are your favorite authors?
-Man, I have to pick? Hmm…Linda Howard, Gennita Low, Karen Robards, Suzanne Brockmann, JR Ward, and you of course (but you knew that already).
Aww, you’re making me blush!
8. Tell us about your latest release, Cover of Darkness.
-I’m really excited about this book! It’s the second of five in my romantic suspense series with The Wild Rose Press, and features an incredibly strong heroine and a yummy Navy SEAL hero. I hope my efforts at research will shine through in the story.
I can attest that this book is definitely as hot as it sounds so if you don’t have a copy, get one! Check out this blurb and excerpt for some yummy goodness.
Blurb: Targeted by a terrorist cell, Bryn McAllister survives a bombing at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut only to be left to die in a desert cellar. When she is rescued by Navy SEAL Lieutenant Declan McCabe and his team, Bryn must rely on the handsome officer to get her to safety. But just when she thinks the nightmare is over, family friend and legendary CIA operative Luke Hutchinson recruits her and McCabe to help track down the terrorist mastermind responsible for the attack.
With Bryn determined to see the terrorist brought to justice, Dec joins up to protect her, prepared to do whatever it takes to keep her safe during their dangerous mission. Battling the explosive attraction between them, Dec fights to keep his distance from her so he can do his job and keep her alive. But when plans falls apart and Bryn is captured, he must make the agonizing choice between his duty as a SEAL and the life of the woman he loves.
Excerpt (sorry if the formatting is off, that's my fault!)
We’re not going to make it.
Instantly Dec grabbed her and pushed her into a darkened doorway, shoved his gun in his waistband and lifted her leg to wrap it around his hip. She gasped, grabbing his leather jacket to steady herself, staring up into his shadowed eyes. What was he doing?
They waited, listening, their bodies pressed so closely together she could feel his chest move as he breathed. His body heat warmed her, his fresh scent enveloping her. A minute ticked by. Two. He didn’t ease up from her. She quivered against him, part fear, part arousal, and his body responded.
She held her breath and stared into his face, their gazes locking.
A muted voice floated through the darkness. “A woman…dressed in a dance costume. Did you seen her running this way?”
Arabic. A muttered reply followed, then the footsteps resumed. Closer with each passing second. What were they going to do? She tightened her fingers on his shoulders.
She swallowed, afraid even though he was protecting her with his body. Or rather, because of it. “What?”
“Go with this, okay?”
He didn’t give her a chance to reply, just took her face in his hands and leaned down to cover her mouth with his. She gasped, and he took advantage by angling his head, sliding his tongue along her lower lip before stealing inside.
Her fingers clenched as she arched upward, a moan of confusion escaping as he explored her mouth with skill. Shouldn’t they be running? His mouth was so warm, and he was so good her eyelids fluttered down. A thumb swept over her cheekbone. His other hand trailed down her throat and over her shoulder, sparking electricity in its wake. She made a murmur of protest, not understanding how she could be responding to him, under the circumstances. The treads on the sidewalk grew louder, but he continued to kiss and caress her as though they were about to fall onto a bed somewhere, as though they weren’t in mortal danger. She shook in his embrace, torn between wanting him and the fear they would be shot dead any second.
When his hand slid down over the curve of her breast, she gasped into his mouth, eyes flying wide as those footfalls grew louder and louder while her body trembled under his touch.
“Shhh,” he murmured against her lips. “Kiss me back.”
Footsteps echoed. Their pursuer was almost on top of them now.
Anything you’d like to add for your readers and/or aspiring writers?
-Yes! We all doubt ourselves sooner or later in this crazy business, so find a critique group or partner that will stay solidly in your corner throughout the ups and downs of your writing career. Not only will they help improve your work, but they’ll understand what you’re going through when no one else does. Also, the remaining three books of this series will be coming out later in the year, so keep your eyes peeled.
Please let readers know where they can find you.
Thank you for visiting us! Kaylea has been cool enough to give away a digital copy of Cover of Darkness to one lucky commenter so don’t forget to leave one! I’ll be posting the winner’s name here tomorrow so check back to see if you won. Or, click here for more info on how to purchase Cover of Darkness.