March Book Club – Hunted

I hope everyone is enjoying Hunted so far!

Ms. Elizabeth Heiter, has been kind enough to answer a few of my questions regarding her first published book.

Front Cover_Final

Thanks Elizabeth, for taking the time to talk with me today!

Your main character, Evelyn Baine is a FBI criminal profiler. What first drew you to the FBI and criminal profiling?

I’ve always been intrigued by law enforcement characters (they’re perfect protagonists for mystery series, because there’s only so many times you can have someone not in law enforcement stumble upon a mystery to solve!).  About a decade ago (wow, as I’m writing this, I can’t believe it was so long ago!), I picked up a book by a former FBI profiler about his experiences tracking down serial killers and other criminals.  I was fascinated – and I knew a profiler would make for a unique character, someone who would approach a case in a totally different way.  Instead of following typical investigative methods, my character would get to come in and look at the behavioral evidence – things about the crime that told my profiler how the perpetrator thought, and from that, how to find him (or her).

I’m sure you had to spend a lot of time researching for the book. What are some of the resources that you used? Was there anything you learned that really surprised you?

I love the research!  I’m committed to being as accurate as possible, so I did do a TON of research for these books.  Besides reading stacks of books on psychology and personality disorders, the FBI and investigative methods, and criminal personality profiling, I did a lot of up-close research.  I talked to current and former FBI Special Agents, I visited FBI field offices and the FBI Academy at Quantico, and I even shot the weapons used by the characters in my books.

One thing that surprised me: there’s a scene in HUNTED where my protagonist, FBI profiler Evelyn Baine, tries to shoot a perpetrator as he’s driving away.  She aims at him through the window, but when she doesn’t hit him, she can’t take a shot at the wheel of his truck to try and stop him (which was in the original draft!).  But a Special Agent informed me that if you’re going to fire your weapon, it has to be for very specific reasons and it has to be to kill.  You can’t shoot to wound, and you can’t shoot to stop someone.

How long did it take you to write Hunted?

That’s an interesting question, because I actually wrote the manuscript twice.  I wrote the first version back in 2005, then many years later, I completely re-wrote it.  I’d gone out on submission to publishers with a humorous mystery that came close to selling but didn’t, and my agent asked if I had anything darker.  I did, so I pulled out HUNTED, but my writing had come a long way since I’d originally written it, so I took the basic plotline and characters and started over.  The second version of the manuscript took me somewhere between eight months and a year, I believe.

So, I kind of have a crush on Kyle, from the FBI’s HRT, or Hostage Rescue Team. Please tell me those HRT guys are for real. How much fun was it to research them?

The HRT guys are definitely for real!  And the ones I’ve met are real characters – like Kyle and his friend and fellow HRT agent Gabe.  This was a really interesting job to research, because it’s so different from most positions at the FBI.  The HRT agents are more like a military Special Operations team than regular FBI agents.  (In fact, HRT trains with SpecOps teams!)  And unlike most tactical units (like SWAT), HRT agents do it full-time.  If they’re not on a mission, they’re training for a mission.  Very interesting stuff (and good hero material!).

Evelyn has a very troubled past. How do you feel that played into her adult life and career choice?

My heroine came from an abusive home.  When she was ten years old, she moved in with her grandparents, who provided the most stable life she’d ever had.  She became best friends with the little girl who lived next door, Cassie.  Even though she was a biracial child living in a mostly white town in the south, things were looking up.  Then Cassie went missing – the final victim of the Nursery Rhyme Killer – and was never found.  It was the impetus for Evelyn to join the FBI, and has been the driving force in her life.  It gives her purpose and determination, but her childhood also left her socially awkward and closed off from people, things that cause her problems in HUNTED.

You’ve had a very busy year, with the release of five books, one of the being Vanished, the sequel to Hunted. Congratulations! What’s up next for you?

Thank you so much!  Right now, HUNTED and VANISHED (books 1 and 2 in my straight suspense books, The Profiler series) are on shelves, as are DISARMING DETECTIVE and SEDUCED BY THE SNIPER (books 1 and 2 in my romantic suspense books, The Lawmen series).  Up next are SWAT SECRET ADMIRER (book 3 in The Lawmen series, out next month) and SEIZED (book 3 in The Profiler series, out later this year).

Thanks Elizabeth and best wishes on your continued success!

Readers – As you see in Elizabeth’s interview, it can take years of work between a first manuscript and a publish novel. Hours worth of research, writing, and editing went into Hunted, with no guarantee that it would ever be sold.

If you were to spend that amount of time researching and writing a book, what topic(s) would you choose? Law enforcement like Elizabeth? Military? Medical Mystery?

In Hunted, Evelyn Baine has issues with trust. Which supporting characters do you see has the most likely hood of success in breaking through her protective wall and earning her trust?

Don’t forget – A comment in any Book Club post in March gets you qualified for a chance to win either a signed copy of Vanished, the sequel to Hunted, or a $10 Amazon gift card!

— Blog Tour— WILDFIRE CREEK by Shirleen Davies

WILDFIRE CREEK
Blog Tour & Giveaway

WildfireCreek COVER

“A passionate story of rebuilding lives and working to find a place in the wild frontier during the years following the American Civil War. A rugged, heartwarming story of choices and love in the continuing saga of Redemption Mountain.”

Luke Pelletier is settling into his new life as a rancher and occasional Pinkerton Agent, leaving his past as an ex-Confederate major and Texas Ranger far behind. He wants nothing more than to work the ranch, charm the ladies, and live a life of carefree bachelorhood.

Ginny Sorensen has accepted her responsibility as the sole provider for herself and her younger sister. The desire to continue their journey to Oregon is crushed when the need for food and shelter keeps them in the growing frontier town of Splendor, Montana, forcing Ginny to accept work as a server in the local saloon.

Luke has never met a woman as lovely and unspoiled as Ginny. He longs to know her, yet fears his wild ways and unsettled nature aren’t what she deserves. She’s a girl you marry, but that is nowhere in Luke’s plans. Complicating their tenuous friendship, a twist in circumstance force Ginny closer to the man she most wants to avoid – the man who can destroy her dreams, and who’s captured her heart.

 Believing his bachelor status firm, Luke moves from danger to adventure, never dreaming each step he takes brings him closer to his true destiny and a life much different from what he imagines.

 

Excerpt

“Hold it right there.”

 Ginny froze, not recognizing the deep growl coming from behind her.

“Put your hands up and turn around.”

        She did as he asked, her heart pounding, wondering if someone had slipped by Hank to come in the front door. Slowly she turned, raising her eyes to meet those of the man holding a gun on her. Her breath caught at the sight of Luke, his face hard, his mouth in a thin line. She could see the instant recognition dawned. He lowered the gun in a quick motion and slammed it into the holster.

 “What the hell are you doing here? And why are you dressed like that?”

          She swallowed the hard lump in her throat and took in shuttering breath, anger replacing the fear she’d felt.

         “You scared the daylights out of me,” she hissed and pulled the hat off her head, exposing soft brown wisps of hair which had escaped the loose bun.

          He held his ground, taking in the sight of her in men’s trousers, a too big shirt haphazardly tucked inside and held together by a wide leather belt. The coat he’d given her covered the ridiculous outfit. He let his gaze wander over her, his eyes softening at the same time his body tightened—a reaction he was powerless to control.

 “I asked what you’re doing here, sneaking around the house. Stealing?”

“I am not stealing,” she threw back at him. “I work here.”

       “What?” His voice took on a hard edge as his eyes narrowed, signaling his disbelief.

“Dax and Rachel hired me to take on Bernice’s job.

         He took a step forward, then thought better of it, crossing his arms over his chest, planting his feet shoulder width apart. Frustration warred with the desire he felt toward her. This was not what he’d expected to come home to—Ginny living at the ranch. It slammed into him that he’d see her every day, obliged to be around her, and forced to fight his constant attraction toward her. His jaw hardened as he processed the implication of her new position. He didn’t like it. Not one bit.

        “We’ll see about that.” He turned and stormed from the room, walking into the study, slamming the door behind him.

 

Interview with the Author – Shirleen Davies 

  1. How do you come up with your book ideas? Do you sit and plan or go with the flow when an idea comes to you?

The idea come to me at the most unexpected times. I keep a notepad in my purse and a notebook of ideas. If it’s an idea for a series, I start a spiral binder and outline story ideas for the first three to four books—names, archetypes, ages, challenges, etc. The next step is to write three to four pages of ideas for each specific story. For a series, I find it’s better to have at least three book ideas drafted.

  1. Do you listen to music when you write? What’s on your playlist?

Sometimes I listen to music, other times I have movies playing with the sound low or off. I listen to George Strait, Brooks & Dunn, Luke Bryant, Eric Church, and several others. I also listen to jazz. For movies, I tend to like action and fantasy themes such as Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Expendables, Red, Independence Day, plus some great western movies such as Quigley Down Under and anything with John Wayne.

  1. Who are your favorite authors?

I think this may be the question most authors dread most as it is almost impossible to list absolute favorites. Over time, I’ve collected almost all the books written by Linda Howard, Sandra Brown, Linda Lael Miller, and Kat Martin. But, there are also a bunch of other authors that I consider ‘favorites.’

  1. What was the inspiration behind Wildfire Creek?

This is the second book in my Redemption Mountain series, and focuses on the second of the Pelletier brothers. Having boys of my own, I’ve always been fascinated by the pecking order and rivalry that exists between brothers. Some families handle it well, others not so much. I wanted to show a younger brother as strong as the oldest with his own unique personality, talents, and goals. In addition, I wanted to show that it’s possible for brothers to work side-by-side, with love and loyalty.

  1. If you were to insert yourself into the time period of Wildfire Creek, what sort of character would you be? The hero? A shady villain? Something else?

There’s a character who appears in book one, Redemption’s Edge and Wildfire Creek, and who will have her own story in book three, Sunset Ridge. She’s from a wealthy family but objects to the stern life and rigid social structure demanded of her father. If I inserted myself into a specific character, it would be her—Abigail Tolbert.

  1. Speaking of the past, what time period would you most like to visit (outside the historical west)?

Of course the historical west is my absolute favorite for time travel. Excluding it, either during the American Revolution or England in the early 1800s. Although I love the Scottish romances, would I really want to be a woman during that time period? Probably not.

  1. What’s up next for you?

I’m working on three projects:

Book three, Sunrise Ridge, of the Redemption Mountain series, due to release in mid-2015.

Book six, Hearts Don’t Lie, of my MacLarens of Fire Mountain Contemporary series, due for release in mid-2015.

Book two, Our Kind of Love, of my new Kerrigans of Peregrine Bay Contemporary series (Book one, Reclaiming Love, will come out in March).

 Some fun Q&A:

1.Coffee or tea? Both – coffee in the morning, tea in the evening.

2. Morning person or night owl? Morning

3. Favorite book? Too many to pick just one!!

4. Savory or sweet? Mostly sweet, but savory can be good also. Can I mix them?

5. Favorite animal? Horse

6. Favorite place to write? My dining room table at home.

7. What’s your hidden talent? Dancing.

8. Most exotic place you’ve traveled to? Turkey and Croatia

Author links:

Write to her at:  shirleen@shirleendavies.com

Visit her website:   http://www.shirleendavies.com

Comment on her blog:   http://www.shirleendavies.com/blog.html

Facebook Fan Page:   https://www.facebook.com/ShirleenDaviesAuthor

Twitter:   http://twitter.com/shirleendavies

Google+:   http://www.gplusid.com/shirleendavies

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/shirleendaviesauthor

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/shirleendavies

Tsu: http://www.tsu.co/shirleendavies

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RUYQB7K

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00RUYQB7K

Apple/iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wildfire-creek/id955583047?mt=11

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wildfire-creek-shirleen-davies/1121005233?ean=2940046495669

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/508037

 

Tour giveaway:

$15 Amazon Gift Card

eBook of Redemption’s Edge, Book One, Redemption Mountain

eBook of Tougher than the Rest, Book One, MacLarens of Fire Mountain

eBook of Second Summer, Book One, MacLarens of Fire Mountain Contemporary

   Click here for the Rafflecopter giveaway

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