Friday, September 21, 2012

Krystal Shannan Interviews - Heather Long - Yesterday's Heroes

Please help me welcome Heather Long to the blog today!

Heather Long lives in Texas with her family and their menagerie of animals. As a child, Heather skipped picture books and enjoyed the Harlequin romance novels by Penny Jordan and Nora Roberts that her grandmother read to her. Heather believes that laughter is as important to life as breathing and that the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus are very real. In the meanwhile, she is hard at work on her next novel.

Did you always want to be an author? What made you choose to write romance?

I've always had a passionate love affair with books. I could see the world, explore my desires, discover new things—so yeah, I think I always wanted to be an author. Romance is a natural fit—love unites and brings tears—of course, I also hated Romeo and Juliet and I wanted to write a different ending.

What is your favorite part of being a writer/author?

The writing. Hands down. I love to sit down and visit the worlds and characters I create in my head.

Tell us a little about your book. What inspired you to write it?

I love superheroes and I love romance. It was a match made for me. And once the idea occurred to me to write it, most of the story began to form in my mind—it was like reading a mental graphic novel and I couldn't shake it—at all.  It wasn't long before I didn't want to shake it. Loved writing this book—and while I rarely pick favorites this series is like teenage me, twentysomething me and thirtysomething me getting together to party.

Aurora “Rory” Graystone
Codename: Halo
Abilities: superior reflexes, I.Q. and aptitude for calculating probabilities
Mission: find missing teammates
Rory knows she’s being watched, and she’s not about to let the hunter catch her in his trap. She’ll confront her stalker, a man she suspects is involved in the disappearances of other superheroes--if she can ignore the sensual heat that fills her every time he’s near…
Michael Hunter
Codename: Hard Target
Abilities: expert tracker and sniper
Mission: kill Rory Graystone
One of five desperate men sent back in time to save the future, Michael believes eliminating Rory is the key to his mission. But even as he takes aim, a split second of doubt causes him to miss his shot.
Drawn together by passion, and on a collision course with fate, can Rory and Michael work together to change the future? Or have they set in motion the horrific history the time-travelers are trying to prevent?


He missed.

He never missed.

Michael stared at the sidewalk swarming with citizens and shopping debris. His bullet had hit one of the shopping bags, turning it into scraps of leather, metallic buckle bits and paper drifting in the air.

How the hell had he missed?

Michael allowed himself the twenty seconds it took him to collapse the rifle back into his bag to analyze. But it was twenty seconds too long.

Her slender, lithe body appeared over the roof’s edge and landed, one knee and one foot down for balance. Power coiled through her body’s compact musculature. Intelligence shimmered in her violet eyes. Danger sheathed her like a halo.

She was absolutely magnificent.

“Going somewhere?” Her voice undulated, low and husky, the sardonic notes pinging his nervous system as though they were played on a too-tightly-strung guitar.

“Unfortunately, no.” A flick of his wrist dropped the small-caliber weapon into his hand, but the woman rolled, twisting and turning through the air as she avoided his bullets.

Incomprehension tangled with irritation. He never missed.

Until today.

Twice in as many encounters.

“Tsk, tsk. Didn’t your mother teach you not to play with guns? If you’re going to shoot at something, hit it. Otherwise, what’s the point?” The come-hither voice was close and the liquid heat in her tone tormented his cock. He narrowly jerked his head back, avoiding her fist whiffing the air just millimeters from his nose. But he had no time to savor his victory as her arm completed the arc, punching down on the crook of his elbow.

Nerves screaming, he released the gun and jerked himself to the right to avoid the blow of her leg lashing out at his knee. He struck back, unsurprised that she avoided the strike. She used her forearm to send it wide and swiveled so that his own mass and velocity sent him flying over her shoulder.

An unexpected grin turned up the corners of his mouth. Despite her slighter frame and fragile appearance, the she-vixen offered him a challenge.

God she’s fast.

He slammed against the rooftop and rebounded to his feet, pivoting to face her. Gone was the sweet white t-shirt that hugged her breasts. In its place was an almost-white body suit that lingered like a lover on every curve. A rainbow swath of color wrapped around her right thigh, cut up across her hip and over her abdomen to blaze a trail of treasure to her left breast. The Kevlar-based polymer shimmered in the morning sun.

It was both practical and erotic.

Deep within his brain, the microchip he’d thought dead flared to life. Data scrolled across his internal eye, a mechanized voice reciting the information

Target acquired: Codename Halo.
Abilities: Superior reflexes, high I.Q. and an uncanny knack for discerning the possibilities
Suggested defense: Unknown
Suggested offense: Unknown

Computers were not meant to be sarcastic, but the advice carried the weight of dry humor that Michael associated with the programmer it imitated.

“Got a name big boy?” Her words were a provocative tease and his body tingled in response.

Her voice spawned a physiological side effect on his anatomy. It must have a correlation with her ability, but the chip remained silent on the matter. Her second attack came in a flurry of kicks and palm strikes.

Michael could take a man down with three moves or less. She was slender, slighter in build, and he should be able to snap her in two. Instead, he blocked, evaded and turned her blows until he was able to capture a wrist and spin her back against his chest, his arms coming down to cage her. She turned her palms down, her suggestive little ass rubbing his crotch as she tried to break the hold.

Using his size and associated muscle mass, he bent with her, his fists shackling her wrists, his knuckles brushing her firm breasts. She twisted her hips, going for the side spin. Michael moved with her, boxing her tighter to his body. The motion brought the rich, velvet of her hair to his nose. He drew in a lungful of her scent. The tart lemon was a top note, but beneath the citrus was a distinctively musky, feminine scent.

Blood surged into his cock and she stilled as his arousal pressed solidly against her backside. The teasing curve of her body was soft against his hardness, filling his mind with erotic images and the desire to determine just how the sexy little body suit came off.

Had any battle been more fun?

Or more exciting?

“Done?” He touched his lips to her ear, stealing the smallest taste of her flesh. Her tender skin tasted of schnapps and cool malt, both decadent and sweet.


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Do you plot and outline or do you just write?  Plotter or Pantser?

I do both. I give myself a road map and then I enjoy the ride.

What advice would you give new authors?  What have you learned about the business?

Never give up and keep writing. It sounds simple and it's not—but writing, writing, writing is the only way to get there.

Do you have another book in the works?

I have several, but yes, fingers crossed we will see Boomers #2 – so go buy lots of copies so they want to continue the story!

Boxers or Briefs?  Boxers
Cookies or cake? Neither
Pizza or hamburger? Pizza
Beer, Wine, or mixed drink? Beer

(Hero/Heroine Character Questions)
What were your first impressions of each other?

Michael: She shops. A lot.
Rory: He's monosyllabic. A lot.

What’s your favorite characteristic of each other?

Michael: *silent*
Rory: *snickers*

What are your plans for the near future? 

Michael: That's classified.
Rory: We're going to save our friends.

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