Gun For Hire
BLURB: The job should have been easy—patrol a swank beach that serves as a backyard for Maui’s rich, kick out the riffraff, and get a tan in the process. But rent-a-cop Samantha Winters didn’t anticipate a deliciously grumpy cop, Sergeant Grady Roark, who comes down to the beach to bust her chops and instead leaves her breathless…and wondering why the one man who could help her seems determined to thwart her at every turn. Grady is keeping secrets from Sam that have him walking the line between attraction and duty. But when Sam becomes the target of a shadowy organization, Grady will have to choose between the law and the temptation of a woman who has him breaking every rule he’s ever known. The job should have been easy, but when the bullets start flying, Sam learns nothing is as easy as it seems when you’re a Gun for Hire.
How did you come up with the title?
It was a long, desperate search! And then, one day, I was walking with my son around the park and it hit me out of nowhere. It’s usually not that easy, though.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I mostly want readers to have fun with the book. And if they can walk away feeling a little inspired by Sam’s evolution over the course of the novel, by her beating the ghosts that haunt her, then that’s a great bonus for me.
What books have most influenced your life?
The first book I ever remember loving was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I stole Whitney, My Love from my mom’s bookshelf when I was waaaay too young to be reading romance. And then I stole her books for years afterward and never got caught! (Sorry, Ma!) One for the Money opened my eyes to romance as comedy – and Jennifer Cruisie’s Bet Me showed me the best that a romance novel can ever be.
What book are you reading now?
I’m reading a fellow author’s newest – Stanalei Fletcher’s The Honor Code.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’ve read so many amazing new authors through the ’17 Scribes – www.17scribes.com -- it’s a group of authors who are debuting novels in 2017 and the talent amongst this group is unreal.
What are your current projects?
I’m working on a follow-on novel that will give Samantha’s sister, Josephine, the happily ever after she’s been waiting for.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
So, so many things. But that’s just part of writing. I think it’s important to accept there are always things you would change because you will constantly grow as an author. But the important thing is to move on to the next project and not dwell on the past.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Let’s just say Josephine finds herself in the middle of a crisis when she finally decides to make a move for Kai, just as her long-lost husband knocks on her front door.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Finding the time to do it! It’s something you have to practice every single day.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I love Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ humor. I snatch up her novels the moment they come out.
Do you travel much concerning your book(s)?
I write from my experiences – okay, except the part about law enforcement and chasing down a drug cartel, that’s all fake – but I really have been to Secret Beach. I know that stretch of sand really, really well. And when I needed a setting for my book, I could think of no place I loved more and wanted to capture on the page, than Maui.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The endless rewrites. This is my first published novel and it took a long time to get it right! I learned a ton along the way and I’m so grateful to the people who helped me get here. But I do hope that next time is slightly less painful!
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
The very biggest challenge I faced was believing in myself, believing I could do it even when statistically, there was no reason to expect I’d have success. There were a lot of moments where I wanted to give in, and I’m so glad I pushed through.
“The sunlight was intense after a half hour in that gloomy space, but I squinted hard and kept moving toward a narrow set of steps down to the parking lot. Grady walked a few paces behind me, and if he heard the crinkle of paper as I moved, he elected not to say anything.
Grady hit the remote to his truck and grabbed for the passenger side door, his hand light on my elbow as he helped me up. Paper crackled as my butt hit the seat and Grady’s eyes narrowed. Without a word, he slammed my door and went around to the driver’s side, climbing up into the cab and stabbing the keys into the ignition.
“So, I—” I hesitated as I shifted in my seat and my movement was accompanied by the distinct sound of cardboard bending.
“No,” Grady muttered, and clicked on the radio. “No talking.”
“Shh.” Grady put a finger to his lips, his eyes still on the road. “Any minute you’re going to tell me about the felony crime you just committed. And then I’m going to have to deal with the fact that I was an accessory to a felony crime."
“Umm, yeah.” I reached around to the back of my pants and eased the file folder up from my waistband, working it out slowly so as to not lose anything as Grady headed up the hillside toward his house. As I brought it around to look at it, the red block letters damning me to years of incarceration should I get caught, a muscle ticked in Grady’s jaw.
“You stole classified documents.” He shook his head from side to side.
I looked up at Grady and then down at the mangled file with the red Top Secret heading. I took a corner of the front sheet and ripped across the width of the page, separating the words “Top Secret” from the rest of the paper.
“They’re declassified now.” I crumpled up the classification and shoved it in my pocket.
I shrugged and opened the file.”
If you'd like to know more, including info on her newest book, where she gets her ideas, and how it’s possible she can’t use Facebook, please visit her:
Social Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram a