What’s your favorite thing to do to relax? READ!
If you could go back in time to when you were seven years old, what wisdom or advice would you pass on to yourself? Relax and don’t worry so much about mean people.
For what are you grateful? My husband.
What authors had an impact on you growing up and as an adult? L.M. Montgomery, Madeliene L’Engle, and then Janes Austin and Charlotte Bronte (oh, Jane Eyre, book love of my life).
Did anyone in your life influence you or encouraged you to be a writer? Nope. I did not have a natural aptitude for it. Everything I know is earned knowledge.
What is your favorite aspect or writing? Creating stories and characters and lives. Your least favorite? The business side of it.
Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing? Pencil and paper. I write directly into the computer now, but my first several books were hand-written before being typed. I have always had an obsession with pencil and paper.
Do you have a common theme or item that appears in each of your books? There are little jokes that only someone who knows me really well will get. For example, in Once, the two main characters are talking about names ending in Y. Jonathan (not Johnny) teases Rebbecca (not Becky) that he’d never met a Missy or Stacey he could trust. That’s in the book solely due to my hatred of being called Missy.
What have you learned the most from being in the writing business? Patience, positive attitude.
Tell us about your latest release:
Forever the Storm, book 3 of the Taken series
A part of me saw her as a delicate beauty that needed protecting. But she wasn’t a flower that gets torn apart in a storm; she was the storm.
Before it’s over, someone will die.
Attacks are coming from all sides: arrests, sabotage, picketing, even being framed for murder. Who is the invisible force behind it all?
And what secrets has Joe Bishop been keeping about both Adriane’s and Alec’s pasts?
“I just need you to surround the building and make sure all of Malleus goes where they’re told.”
He sneered, the happy kind. I’d just told him he could beat the shit out of any of them if he wanted.
I waved one of the guys in the back to come forward. He was a local small-time con artist, extremely personable when he wanted to be. He came up to me. His smile looked like Prince Charming.
“There are a few people living in the building who are not connected to Malleus. I want you to mark their door so El Parros doesn’t mess with them. And inform them that most of their neighbors are being evicted and to please stay inside and lock their doors.” I gave him a sheet of labels on which I’d written “PROTECTED.”
Still smiling that smile, he took the labels and the list of apartment numbers and headed inside.
I sent the thugs to surround the building, and once Prince Charming came out, I sent in El Parros to start evicting.
Only a few minutes later, they started streaming out like cockroaches. The first one out the door bolted for the fence at the back of the apartment building, and then he stumbled forward and fell face first into a dirty patch of grass. No one seemed to have noticed where Vincent had gone, the third-story laundry room window of the neighboring building. The rounds in the rifle were just rubber; they wouldn’t kill anyone, but the gun packed enough force to knock a man down and the rounds hurt like a motherfucker.
The next man out tried to run as well, until a rubber bullet made him smack into the side of the building.
“Over there!” Vlad commanded and pointed to the middle of the road, and the rest of the cockroaches followed as ordered.
Carlos came out of the building and across the street to me. “That’s all of them, bitches, too.”
“Did you come across any children?”
“No kids. Just a few crying in the protected apartments.”
I glanced around to be certain Garrison still had the local uniforms busy elsewhere and then walked over to where Malleus was gathered in the middle of the street. They were closely surrounded by El Parros and the others.
Everyone focused on me as I stood in front of them.
I addressed Malleus. “You’re leaving town. Now.”
“Right,” a guy with red, spiked hair scoffed.
I nodded slightly toward him, and a rubber bullet made red-spikes smack into the asphalt.
“I suggest the rest of you look around,” I said. “Anything seem unusual about your company?”
They glanced around at their herders—sneak thieves, con artists, drug dealers, enforcers, and El Parros. Several of them raised their eyebrows. This group didn’t usually associate in general, let alone work together on a job. “Any idea what would bring such a group into this unlikely alliance?”
A young man in a dirty white T-shirt raised his hand.
I managed not to roll my eyes and just looked at him.
“You, Mr. Kaden.”
“Very good. You get a gold star.” I started walking casually around the group. “How many of you are from this city?”
Several of them slowly raised their hands.
“Then you’ll know quite clearly what happens when you cross a Kaden. Anyone care to explain to the class?”
“We ain’t never crossed you,” dirty-white-T-shirt said.
I gave a slight nod, and a well-placed round hit him in the thigh and knocked his leg out from under him. He yelled out in pain.
I squatted next to him and spoke calmly. “I suggest you shut the fuck up before I make you bleed.”
He pressed his lips together, and pain etched itself in his face as if chiseling rock.
I stood and continued slowly circling the group. “You will leave town. Tonight. You will not return. You will not maintain any relationships with anyone in this city. You will not even discuss this city. I have informed all of my contacts that you are not welcome here, and they are to demonstrate that if they see you.” I stopped walking and faced them squarely. “I have authorized them to use whatever means of demonstration they find most effective.”
Vlad, El Parros, and most of the others sneered.
I started walking away, toward my car. “I’m giving you five minutes’ head start before my contacts begin demonstrating.”
Running footsteps sounded from behind me. They yelled at each other to get out of the way. My enforcers laughed as they watched.
How did you decide on your story plot? This story was a long time coming. The first book in this series was the first book I ever wrote, and this series is my favorite. The first nugget of the story came to me when I was around 13. I wasn’t naturally good at writing (I’ve studied a LOT of books on writing and practiced a TON to get good), but I would play with the idea in my mind. I did that for years. Then one night in my late twenties, I decided I should jot down the beginning of the story. I wrote in an old notebook for hours, and I’ve written almost every day since.
How did you choose your characters names and location for your story? Adriane I picked because it’s similar to “rain”. Alec is a name I’ve always liked, and Kaden I made up—I wanted a surname for him that starts with K because it’s a very hard, strong-sounding letter. The location was pure oops. I wrote a scene early on that’s still in the book of Alec and Adriane watching the sunset with the sun falling down into the ocean—well, that made it a west coast location. Lol. The actual city is fictitious but is in the Pacific Northwest.
Do you have a favorite scene? Why? There are so many… I love at the end of Overcast (prequel): “Surprise, surprise, motherfucker.” You really need to read Endless as the Rain (book 1) and Overcast (prequel) to understand why I love that part so much.
Do you have a character that you identify with? Who and why? Adriane is quiet and artistically inclined like me and she has my coloring (fair, hazel eyes, dark hair), but she’s so much cooler than me.