Robbed of her future and family, Kerrie King is on the hunt for justice. After thugs murdered her husband and two-year-old son, a fiery determination ignited within Kerrie to find the killers. Never could she have imagined her hunt would lead her to Project Triton and a super suit that would change everything. Now, she finds herself charged with uncovering corruption in Liberty City and dealing with resurfacing feelings for her best friend, Josh. In the midst of it all, can Kerrie find a way to rebuild her life? Or will the dilemmas of maintaining a mild-mannered alter ego thrust her deeper into her heroic new calling?
I loved writing the character of Kerrie Ann. In crafting a female vigilante, she had to have a compelling reason to fight. She also had to be pretty smart to figure out when things were awry. Kerrie Ann King walked a serious tight rope. On one hand, she desperately wanted to just be the grieving widow. On the other, she wanted justice. Caught in the middle was her re-emerging desire for her best friend. A complex woman I look forward to writing more of.
Writing Justice was my creative hutzpah moment. It wasn't that readers had never read a dark vigilante story. They'd certainly read ones with kick-butt heroines. But what about a tale with a woman who went through the ultimate of tragedies and had to claw her way back to some semblance of normal? That is what drove this book.
My family will cringe as I tell you this, but I'm a HUGE fan of the DC Comics shows on the CW Network. When Arrow aired its last episode, I was sad. Although I knew the show had run its course, I wanted more. Why not invent my own vigilante? It had to be a female. According to psychological profiles, women have to be greatly moved in order to take the law into their own hands. And that's how Kerrie King and Liberty City were born.
Words should give you an indication of character. Although Kerrie King painted a great image of Tristan Edwards, it was her summation that proved her point.
Kerrie King's life was flipped upside down. One would think that she would have had the support of ALL her family. Yeah, I stuck with the cliche of the mother-in-law who really didn't like her daughter-in-law. Why? Because Gertrude King was so much fun to write as the evil woman.
Writing about Josh's reaction to Debbie was fun. Imagining how he would respond to meeting his idol was based off an interaction I had with an author. I was tongue-tied and probably gushed over the woman. Who knew it would become reference material later?
Kerrie King is a woman designed for taking risks. Before losing her family, she was a cybercrime analyst in Liberty City. She lost faith with the department when nobody was charged with the murders of her husband and child. Kerrie formed her own rebellion, doing whatever was necessary to bring about justice. One might consider it a small act of protest.
Kerrie's not the only one dealing with a new reality. I haven't done the grocery shopping in my household in months. Being someone with underlying health issues, I've left that task up to my husband. A new store opened in our area, and I haven't even been able to see it outside of pics online. But venturing out brings other issues. There's an entire wipe down procedure before my husband enters the house. Then, all the items must be properly wiped down before being put away. When it's all done, everyone is worn out. Could we do differently? Omit parts of our process? Short answer? Sure we could, but why mess with what has kept us healthy? What extravagant measures have you taken in dealing with the pandemic?
Perfect title--and chapter--for today's bubble. Thanks to the pandemic and subsequent quarantine, my plans have changed tremendously. One thing I have learned is that I have to have deadlines. They can be loose, but not totally gone. Without them, I'm not very productive. So I'm having to find ways to move forward and maintain some sort of schedule. How about you?
I don't know about you, but I love an emotion-filled scene. It's even better if there's action with it. That was my goal in writing Justice from the Shadows. I wanted an action-packed tale that grabbed your heart. Something that made readers reach for a tissue while holding onto their anger. For me, I like feeling what the main characters endure. With Kerrie King, readers get a depth of emotion--sorrow, angst, and even love. She's not your typical vigilante. What type of character do you like reading about?
Writing Justice from the Shadows was like showcasing my creativity. I love making up fictional worlds. I think it goes back to being a kid--making up scenarios for dolls, etc. Liberty City was the ultimate in world building. Not only did I come up with details for what places looked like, I made an entire metropolis. In my mind, I wanted something which rivaled DC Comics and Marvel. Instead of a generic coffee shop, I came up with The Coffee Bar. Need a burger? Head over to Colossal Burger. And don't forget breakfast. You can grab a quickie at the Egg & Shmear! And yes, I spent a lot of time online making sure there wasn't one of these names easily found on the Internet.
Wouldn't it be cool to be invisible? Be able to slip in and out of a place sight unseen? For a fleeting moment, Kerrie King relished the idea. Then she had to navigate public transportation. It's one of those moments that would have easily been captured in a DC Comics TV show or movie and not so much by Marvel. Don't get me wrong. I love BOTH universes! When I want a little comedy with my superhero antics, I watch DC. If I'm in a serious mood, then it's time for Marvel. What do you think? If you're a fan of comics, which do you prefer?
Kerrie King's story is nothing to laugh at. Not unless you count her shock when she saw the sexy one-piece super suit. Her thoughts went from the obvious to the not so obvious. I had to insert a little humor here. Ever wonder what the female superheroes think when they see some of the costumes given them?
Kerrie King loses her husband and child in this story. It takes a certain level of bravery to weather the storm and go off to work less than two weeks after the tragedy. Of course, Kerrie's situation doesn't compare to all the brave men and women who have put their lives on the lines so that others may survive. Thanks to all of you--the doctors, nurses, and first responders--for everything that you continue to do!
I loved writing this scene between Josh and Kerrie. It starts out with a memory of a promise Josh made to her when they were in teens. I'd been working up to the moment. It was something they'd both wanted, but continued to back pedal. Then it happens. You get a feeling that both characters have been wanting it for a very long time.
I wrote Justice from the Shadows as my homage to superheroes and dark vigilantes. No, there aren't any characters with super powers. Think more like a female heroine like Batman or even the Green Arrow. Kerrie King didn't set out to become a vigilante. She was just someone who worked cybercrime with the Liberty City Police Department. She had a husband and a son and they all lived in an idyllic suburb. It was fun creating her world and the reasons for her team of vigilantes to exist.
Readers are used to vigilantes being male. Personally, I wanted to read about a female who would move heaven and earth to get justice. In my research I found that females who turn vigilante do so because of extreme measures. I believe this scene gave Kerrie King plenty of reason to walk on the dark side.
Kerrie King's life used to consist of going to work each day. She looked forward to spending the evening playing with her two-year-old son. The best part was being with her husband, Ryan. They had the idyllic life in the suburbs. And then it all changed. This excerpt is from the chapter highlighting the significant changes coming to her life.
Vampire fangs, vials of dragon’s blood, and tarot cards are a few of the oddities found at Vanpeer’s. Then an obsidian mirror is delivered and a mysterious man enters her life. Dwade jostles Twilight’s life. Suddenly, she’s having memories that make no sense. Adding to the weirdness are her feelings for Dwade and her lifelong best friend, Preston. One man is the key to her past while the other holds her future. Just when Twilight thinks she’s figured out things, women who look like her keep turning up dead in the French Quarter. Twilight has some serious choices to make. One option appeases the gods while the other speaks to the shadow found in all of us.
For the first time in history Sin needs saving, but she doesn’t know it yet. What Sinatra Neeley knows is she wants it all—fancy car, huge bank account, platinum card—and a handsome man to give it to her. But love? It’s not for Sinatra. She tried that years ago with Jake Carter, a struggling archeology student. Love doesn’t put food on the table or a roof over your head. Amun Rassoul, a man possessed by an ancient deity, will give Sinatra all she desires. He’ll cherish her and shower her with wealth. But first, she has to become a vessel for the Underworld and then Amun will make her his queen. Jake, now working on his doctorate, offers Sinatra an uncertain future while Amun, the man from the past, can give her the world—endless sex with a seat on an ancestral throne. But only one man possesses her heart. Can Jake deliver Sin before she gets stuck in the Underworld?
I love writing a diverse story. The more varied the characters, the better. It's my way of including all readers in my books. Call it a glimpse at the real world.
I've always had a fascination with witches--no idea where it came from. As a kid, I found all sorts of ways to feed my curiosity--even at the supermarket. Anyone remember Dell pocket books? One day I found one on casting spells for witches. The books were like twenty-five cents, but I had to beg my mom to buy it. It wasn't that we couldn't afford it, but she thought it was a major waste of time. I got my coveted book home and read all of it (probably less than 50 pages). Sadly, I couldn't try any of the spells because I didn't have the ingredients. Oddly, that book miraculously disappeared. Being a kid, I wanted to believe the book vanished because of mystical reasons. Most likely, it was my mother tossing out the creepy tome. Of course, she still won't admit to it.
Well, I've never been in Sinatra's position before, but I do know what's it's like not to hear a thank you. When you work long hours in a stuffy office, it tends to happen. But I can say it hasn't happened as an author! I have met some wonderful people at book signings and conventions. People who have read my books and they do say thank you. Even the new readers who might not purchase right away but will grab a bookmark or a piece of swag. In 2020, I look forward to meeting more readers and sharing my stories with them.
Heading up the security team for a disreputable billionaire seems the perfect outlet for Dash Copeland’s anger issues. That is, until he commits the cardinal sin of consorting with the boss’s daughter—Peyton Daniels. Worried his indiscretion could cost him his job… or his ls life… Dash turns his back on his powerful feelings for Peyton and inserts some much needed distance between them by going off the grid. He thought he could forget the seduction of her touch. Nothing could be further from the truth. When Peyton suddenly goes missing, Dash is ordered to track her down. The cost of failure being her life… and his. For the first time, Dash must cast aside his savage methods and handle the matter with a delicate hand. Will it be enough to save the only woman he’s ever loved? Or will one misstep allow his enemies to achieve their twisted agendas?
Peyton Daniels is the epitome of someone who doesn't do well with change. First, her mother and brother are killed. Second, Peyton's father disregards her as if she was responsible for their deaths. The one person who she can turn to is slowly turning away. The girl doesn't do well with rejection.
Peyton Daniels could barely take care of herself let alone a pet. And that father of hers? Well, any pet of his would have run away a long time ago. Some people just aren't meant to be take care of animals.
Savage Charm is all about the broken characters. It's always fun to write about someone who can find redemption. Instead of just one, I gave readers a few dysfunctional ones.
Dash Copeland has been my hands-down favorite male character to write. He was so broken that he seemed hopeless. After much thought, I figured his best counterpart was someone who was also broken but for different reasons. Together, once they saw through their own B.S., they could fix each other and find love.
I've never been to New Jersey, but that didn't stop me from setting Savage Charm in the area. With this story, I sprinkled in details to make it believable. Locations became a mere backdrop. I also haven't been to upstate New York (I've been to Rochester
Ever been an unwilling participant forced to act? Peyton Daniels, my main female character in Savage Charm, is in that terrible position. Everyone around her knows what's going on, but she doesn't. When she finally figures out the scenario, she has to make a choice. She goes along with the program, hoping it will keep her alive. I have to say I've never been in her shoes. But I know what it's like to have to keep going even when you don't want to. I've had my fair share of jobs over the years. Some were okay while others were far from it. Pushing on when I'd much rather stay home was an everyday occurrence. But like Peyton, sometimes you have to keep moving until something better comes along.
When I thought about writing Savage Charm, I wanted to write about broken characters. I'd been watching repeats of Sons of Anarchy (research for another book) and had become fond of the actor, Charlie Hunnam. His persona on SOA became Dash. I smoothed out the edges to make him honorable with an underlying anger issue. I'd also been watching Arrow and liked the actress who played the Green Arrow's sister. She became my idea for Peyton--a woman with a lot of heart but a wild streak.
Being an indie author is about being flexible. Sometimes, you have to be willing to push back a release date. Sometimes, it might be choosing a new editor or cover artist. You have to be willing to make changes when needed. Honestly, that's part of the fun. Knowing that you are completely in control of your schedule is a good thing.
People tend to take relationships for granted. I'm not necessarily talking about spouses or significant others. I'm talking about siblings and other family members. Each time I've lost someone and attended a funeral I've heard the same words. "It's a shame we only get together for funerals. We should hang out more." It's a sentiment that sounds good in the moment, but never comes to light. Why? Are we so busy with our own lives that we can only recognize those closest to us in the face of death? It's something to think about because tomorrow is not promised.
I love world building. Contemporary stories really don't require it. You choose your setting and add it to your story. When I set out to write Savage Charm, I wanted to include a French locale. I did my research to find enough info to make it authentic. When authors include locations outside of the United States, I feel like we draw in more readers and open the world up to others.
I can sort of imagine how Dash felt in his situation. When I was a kid, my sister and I went to the bank with our aunt. I believe she went to either cash a check or withdraw money. Any way, when the three of us walked around the corner a man approached us with a gun. All I remember is the weapon and my aunt handing over her purse. Thankfully, no one was hurt. I don't even know if the man was caught.
Savage Charm was my last published book for 2019 under the pen name Nadirah Foxx. When I first set out to write darker romance, I didn't know where the path would take me. Then I stumbled upon dark romantic suspense and found something I loved. A year from now I hope to have published more romantic suspense.
Dash Copeland, hands down, has been my favorite male character to write. He's almost impossibly broken. Just like Peyton, he can't see everything that's good for him. Thankfully, he has his best friend--Ollie--to try to keep him on the right path. Savage Charm started out as a different take on Beauty and the Beast. Then, my muse had a change of plans. I love the direction the story took!
Dash Copeland was my favorite broken character to write in 2019. The man had so many issues, but deep down it was his good heart that guided him down the right path.
Imagine doing anything and everything trying to get someone's attention? What if that someone was your billionaire father who didn't want you around? Who blamed you for the death of your own mother and baby brother? That was the thought that kicked off my writing Savage Charm. I wanted a broken soul. Someone who could be redeemed if she only saw her worth. Then I tossed in her savior--a man so broken he can't see beyond that. Talk about emotions!
When love turns to terror… Love is the last thing Rachel St. John expects when she meets two handsome men on the same night. Leo Kilpatrick is a stranger who catches her eye at the neighborhood bar. He turns out to be a nice, fun-loving man—a little on the mysterious side but nothing too serious. Matt Wallace—a cop on a mission to right a wrong—is her blind date. A serial killer murdered his foster sister, and Matt’s determined to find the culprit. The officer’s dedication makes him dark and a little dangerous. After meeting Matt and Leo, strange things start happening in Rachel’s life—like a weird dream coinciding with a power outage confined to her apartment only. Then the threats begin. Her gut tells her not to trust no one. It doesn’t help that neither Matt nor Leo trust each other. Rachel wants to trust her heart, but will it protect her? Better yet, can either man protect her from the real danger? When safety can no longer be found at home… When the one who holds your heart can’t be trusted… When the obvious isn’t anymore, who do you turn to? Not For A Moment is a tale about believing in your own strengths when the road becomes bleak.
Besides being born in 1964, there were a lot of events that year. The most important, for me, was the signing of the Civil Rights Act. If it weren't for LBJ putting his signature on that document, I probably wouldn't be writing these words today. Our world would have been totally different had discrimination not been abolished.
Leo was the hardest character I've written. He was meant to be a true villain with no redeemable qualities. Every time you thought there was something admirable about him, he proved you wrong. I also gave him traits that should have made him likable but didn't.
Writing a contemporary story doesn't afford an opportunity to insert history, but it does require close attention to details. I'm from Detroit and have spent time in and around Royal Oak. In order for readers to believe the location, I had to keep some details accurate (street names and locales) while not focusing too hard on others (interiors of generic places). When I write a story set in real places, I do tons of research. I pull up maps, satellite images, websites--you name it. Anything that will lend legitimacy to my tale.
Freedom is one of those things we take for granted. Yes, we know how important it is. But there are other ways one's freedom can be lost. Like Matt, bad choices can have life altering consequences. Even if the action isn't jail worthy, it might make you a prisoner in your own mind. Decide not to take a risk and try a new venture? It might leave you always wondering what if. Stepping out on a limb and publishing my first book was a move away from a virtual prison. One where I'd told myself that I'd never be good enough.
When I wrote Not For A Moment, I wanted to impart the story of a woman who was a little too trusting. Rachel didn't wise up until her home was broken into. She realized how dangerous the situation had become when the stalker followed her. As a kid, our home was broken into. A few minor things were stolen along with some money. Although my father had a security system installed shortly after, the place never felt the same again.
Did you know that I was never supposed to be writing romance? Years ago, I sat down to write a political romance. Eagerly I typed out my hot sex scene. I gave it to my husband to read. It nearly put him to sleep. Afterward, I packed up my draft and swore I'd never do it again. Thankfully, I didn't keep that vow! I tried again but wrote a cyberpunk thriller. I had written a sweet romance as a short story and then decided to expand it. That led to more romance and even more romance. One never knows where the road might take them. It's one reason why I don't make resolutions anymore. I like being open to change!
Sometimes a little revelation is good for the soul. There's plenty about Matt Wallace that Rachel doesn't know. This chapter shines a light on a few things. If Rachel knew who she was dealing with, she'd probably run for the hills. But then again... The woman is glutton for punishment.
Leo has been my favorite villain to write. He was the most difficult character I wrote during 2019. The man didn't have a redeemable bone in his body. In creating him, there were times when I had to think like Rachel St. John. She wanted to like him. I wanted to like Leo. Neither of us could. He's a character who doesn't see the negativity. He doesn't see the wrong he does. Leo thinks he's justified in all he does. It will be interesting to see what difficult character I write for 2020.
Rachel St. John was not my typical female character to write. She was full of flaws, and just couldn't seem to learn from her mistakes. Everyone around her, however, saw her judgment errors. This scene illustrated that once again she could not pick the right man.
Poor Rachel St. John. She thought what was happening to her was an isolated incidence. Turns out she was only one in a long line of victimized women.
Writing the villain in this tale was particularly hard. I'd never written a character that was so thoroughly evil (not even with my paranormal stories). The bad guy in Not For A Moment didn't have any redeeming qualities when I first crafted him. It took a lot to find something good about him.
What could be darker than facing your worst nightmare? Rachel St. John had no idea what she was inviting into her life when she met two men on the same night. They both had a darkness surrounding them. They both were dangerous. Rachel really should have walked away.
Not for a Moment was the first book I'd written where I had to really get in the mind of the bad guy. He was a true villain who had to be revealed slowly. After learning who he was, I had to make sure that I didn't give away his motives too soon.
You have to love Rachel. There are so many clues thrown at her, but she just doesn't get them. Frankly, if I were in her shoes, I would have left both men alone!
It's the morning after, and Rachel is confused. Leo reminds her of someone she once knew. Even sex with him felt familiar. She's second-guessing her decisions, but she still hasn't made the connection. I loved writing this chapter. It was that moment when the main character was forced to look at herself in the mirror. She's doubting herself while also doubting the man she slept with.
We all know someone like Rachel St. John--a little too trusting of everyone she meets. One night, Rachel meets two men at a bar. They're both handsome. They're also related in a twisted sense. One man is a cop. The other is a serial killer with a connection to Rachel.
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