Here's the first one at Among The Muses. (October 17, 2011.) A great interview/review website. And it's not just because they gave me such a good review or that I like the ladies who run it, but because the site is easy on the eyes and they keep it up. Gives you confidence in knowing that your work is respected when the site is professinal looking. Anyway, I always liked New Jersey people.
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What inspired you to write this book?
One of my all-time favorite TV series was Le Femme Nikita and my go-to-book of Linda Howard’s is ALL THE QUEEN’S MEN. Both deal with mercenaries, spies and assassins, and I find them fascinating. When I was writing the hero, Collin, for CIRCLE OF DESIRE, I was channeling Michael, the dangerous über spy from Nikita. His soft spoken, yet deadly voice always sent delicious chills down my back to my … uh, I made sure to listen to hear every word he said. I wanted my book to have those layers of danger and sexiness filling every page.
Was there a character you enjoyed writing the most?
We usually never talk about villains of books during interviews. Share with us who or what is the antagonist of your story.Theo Palmer, the leader of The Circle, is the boogeyman mentioned often by the characters in the beginning of the book. He doesn’t show up until the worse moment in Olivia’s life, when Collin turns his back on her and returns her to Theo and most likely to her death.
In Theo’s delusional world, he believes he lives in the wrong century. He rules The Circle as his own medieval kingdom with fear and intimidation. He sees himself as a fatherly figure doling out punishments to his wayward children, a father who sleeps with young girls and eliminates those who disagree with him.
What was one of the most interesting things you learned in researching your book?I had the pleasure of attending a workshop on guns and one of the speakers had worked with Blackwater, now called Xe, the largest U.S. private security contractor. He helped me improve CIRCLE OF DESIRE’s opening scene with Olivia waiting to kill her target. All of it is accurate except one element. He’d said that with “wet work” (assassin work), they would leave the rifle and walk out. I decided that Olivia loved the gun too much to leave it. So I had her break it down and take it with her. It was an exciting workshop, and the guy was in great shape!
What can readers expect next from you?
In the first of half of 2012, the second book in The Circle series should be released. (I would like to mention that each book stands alone. No need to read them in order.) CIRCLE OF DANGER is Marie and Ryker’s story. You’ll meet them in the first book. She’s an ex-mistress of Theo’s and wants to prove she can be more than a bedmate to powerful men. While the new leader of The Circle, Ryker, scarred inside and out, struggles to protect her from the world as well as from himself. Oh, yeah. Tortured heroes make the best stories.
What is one particular aspect about the book that you want readers to take away from this interview?CIRCLE OF DESIRE is a story that’s a little different than the usual romantic suspense. At least, I believe it’s different because Olivia makes no apologies for her job as the number one assassin for a mercenary group called The Circle. She’s cool and lethal and has her own special way of … let’s say, unwind from a job well-done. I think the readers will find her interesting as the story peels back the armor she hides behind to show a vulnerable woman needing someone to believe that she’s really a good person.
Excerpt from Chapter One
He shoved off the bed and stood, shrugging his shoulders, pulling them back as he rotated his head. She heard joints popping. He stretched as if he’d finished a job and wanted to get the kinks out. Then he wiped her off his chin and looked her way with glittering eyes.
She groaned. Oh, shit, he was so damn hot.
He turned away.
Shock sent a shiver through her. Was he finished? She admitted his technique was different and a little constraining for her taste, but she wanted more. She’d gotten a glimpse of his groin. Hell, yeah, she hadn’t been the only one wanting more. The impressive bulge against his trousers promised he had the right equipment needed to do the job. But first things first, he needed to let her go.
“Okay. You’ve had your fun. Un-cuff me.” She jingled the handcuffs.
He picked up his tie and slipped it into his jacket as he sat next to her on the bed.
“No. I don’t think so. Not yet,” he said in his usual soft soul-sucking voice.
Heat traveled down her torso and centered on the area now tender from his enthusiastic treatment. She liked how he didn’t raise his voice. She’d liked it on the plane, though she’d thought it was from wanting to keep their polite conversation private. But she now realized it was normal for him, if she could call him normal in any sense of the word. What man didn’t take what was freely offered?
“What do you want?” She narrowed her eyes at him.
When he kept quiet and lifted his chin, she kicked out. In a lightning quick move, he caught her ankles and then threw his torso across her knees. In seconds, he had her feet fastened together with his tie. A snap of his wrist brought a sheet off the other bed, and he wrapped it around her feet. If she’d planned to kick him, the cushion would make it no more than a nudge.
“Enough already,” she protested. “Who are you?”
He continued to ignore her. Her stomach tightened, and she swallowed to keep the fear down. Was he an operative out for revenge? Had she killed a friend or a brother of his? Which organization was he with? Blinded by lust, what had she missed?
“Who do you work for? Who are you?” she asked once again.
Those eerie amber eyes caught hers. “I’m your worst nightmare, Ms. Olivia St. Vincent.”
A chill swept her body. He’d called her by her real name.