What’s your biggest goal?
I started working for the FBI right out of college, back when I was 22 years old. I don’t think I knew what I was getting myself into but I also knew fighting crime was what I was meant to do. I stayed in Chicago up until pretty recently, when I put in for a transfer to Washington. For personal reasons.
So now you’re working for the Counter-Terrorism Unit in the FBI?
Yeah, for a guy named Nick Doyle. To be honest, I think he’s got his doubts about me and I’m still not one hundred percent sure why the hell he hired me. I had a few things come up in Chicago that threw me off my game. I was up front with Doyle about them and half expected never to hear from him again after the interview. But he called and said he wanted me to come right away. I was hoping to prove myself with the case I’m working on now but things have gone off the rails.
Can you say a little bit more about that?
Only that sometimes you’ve got to put what’s really important ahead of your own interests, your own career. Maybe it works out, maybe it doesn’t but it’s not really a question of choice. I signed up to defend and protect people, no matter what the consequences, no matter what the risk. That means I don’t get to prioritize my own life.
Do you consider yourself a risk taker?
Oh, yeah. Always have been. I grew up in kind of a rough Irish neighborhood in Chicago. I guess I was always the kid who got into the wrong side of a fight. As in the losing side. But I like a challenge. And I hate to see bullies win. So I do whatever I have to stop that from happening. Sometimes that involves what some might call reckless behavior.
What’s your biggest weakness?
Trust. Lack of it, I mean.
Care to elaborate?
Okay, point taken. Tell us your impression of Laura Drake.
She’s beautiful but doesn’t seem to have any idea that she is. She also may be the first truly honest person I’ve met. I don’t mean she’s an open book, just that she’s the sort of person who is incapable of lying, at least not when it comes to the things that really matter. But she holds herself back, even pushes people away. I can’t figure that out and I don’t want to be one more person who’s trying to push her.
Your feelings for her seem a bit romantic?
[hesitates] I want to help her out of the mess I got her into. And to be her friend. I don’t think she wants anything more and God knows I’m not in any position to offer her more right now.
Care to explain?
Why am I not surprised?
Okay, change of subject. How did you meet Elijah Todorev?
I met Eli back in Chicago. He was this pimply teen-age hacker genius who was into LARPing and Cosplay. Not to mention a huge pack rat. Everybody—the NSA, the CIA, the FBI—was after him. He went the government route for a while but he got bored with it eventually. I think he was always too much of a rebel to spend his life in a cubicle taking orders. He still thinks of himself as working for the good guys—and he’s right—but he does it on his own terms. He’s also one of the people who can always make me laugh.
All right, let’s do a few speed round questions. You game?
Favorite Group: Springsteen. Always.
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite possession: My Harley. I sold it a while back, but that still counts, right?
Favorite Food: Cheeseburger and fries.
Favorite City: Chicago
Favorite Movie: Shawshank Redemption.
Love or lust?: [grins] I take the fifth.
For three years Laura Drake has watched Senator Pete Worthington promote a series of gorgeous women while she sits in a forgotten corner answering constituent letters on an outdated computer. When Worthington asks her to find an elusive file one Friday night he sets off a series of events that brands her as a killer and puts her life in jeopardy. The path she sets out on forces her to confront not only the nature of evil but the ghosts from her past that have never been set to rest.FBI Agent Dalton Ross transferred from Chicago to Washington to escape his own ghosts. When his investigation leads him to Laura he’s torn between his desire to keep her safe and the need to protect his own heart. As the mystery that surrounds them deepens, Laura and Dalton race to save themselves and the nation from someone willing to sacrifice anything to protect a secret.
Dalton checked his gun and opened the driver’s side door as quietly as possible. “Appearances can be deceiving.”
She opened her door too. “You leave me here, I’m gone when you get back.” She flashed an object in front of his face. “And I’ve got the key.”
“Do you have a death wish or something?” How had she managed to get hold of the key? He was sure he’d put it in his wallet, which was tucked away in the glove compartment. He would have remembered it if she’d opened it. “I thought you said you were dull.”
“I am.” She deposited the key down the front of her dress. “But I’m kinda getting the hang of this adventure thing.” A grin tugged at the corner of his mouth, but he suppressed it. She was charming, no doubt about that. And damn mysterious, too. As she stood there smiling with cat-like satisfaction, he had to resist the urge to take her in his arms and kiss her. Just the idea of pressing his lips to hers was making him hard. The trouble was Laura had no idea what she was up against. She thought of all this as an exciting change from her ordinary life. But this was real life, and real life was full of people whose sole purpose was to inflict as much pain as they possibly could. It was all too easy to go about one’s business without ever seeing the dark side of things—he’d done it for years, and in a way, he wished he could go back to being that twenty-year-old kid who signed up for an interview with the FBI mostly to impress his buddies. But after more than a decade spent hunting killers he knew that like all fairy-tales, the happily-ever-after of suburbia had its monsters.
In real life, people died.
Gwenan Haines will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
I live in an old Cape house with my daughter, too many books, and a red-and-white Siberian husky born on Halloween. After working in Washington, D.C. for several years and traveling to Russia, Europe and Pakistan, I moved back to New England. I’m the author of the romantic suspense novel Vertigo, which is available as an E-book from Amazon Encore and in paperback from Wild Rose Press. Collateral Risk, the follow-up novel to Collateral Damage (which features Dalton’s boss Nick Doyle and scientist Mia Lindgren), is forthcoming from Wild Rose Press. When I’m not working on fiction, I write poetry, teach literature and am still trying to learn how to cook.
Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/Gwenan-Haines/e/B005WEXWRW