Please help me welcome Linda Andrews to the blog today!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a chemist by day and a writer by night. I have three children--two are adults and one is seventeen going on 90, who knows everything. I have a wonderful husband, a dog and four cats. I write to escape and find myself writing stories in a wide variety of genres.
Did you always want to be an author?
Egads, no! I hated English class. It was my worst subject and I actually had to work for my As. Writing is hard, I only do it for the challenge of it. Okay, maybe not only for the challenge, since I've always told stories. But there are days, I wish I never gave up drawing.
What is your favorite part of being a writer/author?
Getting the words right. Sometimes, I'm amazed that I wrote that. Othertimes, I don't want anyone to ever see that! God loves writers since I'm sure he created that delete/backspace key.
Tell us a little about your book.
Brianna is the last book in my Daughters of Destiny series. She contracted Consumption at a young age and spent most of her time living in hospitals. Finally, she was sent home to die and met the hero, Duncan on her sister's ranch. Needless to say, he inspired her to fight back and soon she was healthy again. Now, she's hunting Duncan down with less than honorable intentions (okay she plans on marrying him after she takes advantage of him), but first she has to fulfill a promise to her cat, who is actually an Egyptian Goddess in disguise.
Love, lies, and an ancient Egyptian curse. Brianna Grey holds the key to mankind's destruction and someone is willing to kill for it. Having spent most of her life dying, one man's kiss has resurrected her desire to live. For US Treasury Agent, Duncan Stuart, love means death. He works alone, lives alone and plans to die alone until he meets Brianna again. Under the harsh Egyptian sun, Duncan will break all his rules to save her but will it be enough to overcome the secrets that could get them both killed?
“Brianna, can ye hear me?” Panic fed the primal rage bucking through Duncan. He bound the fury. A treasury agent had nerves of tempered steel, control of iron. A white lock rested on her pale cheek. Peppermint-scented breath slipped past pink lips. She was fine. She had fainted, nothing more. Nothing more.
Yet she had not wakened.
“I had thought she would be accustomed to violence, especially after the tales she told of Arizona.” Miss Phillips’s whine sliced through his musings.
A man had been murdered, poisoned in front of a roomful of wealthy, influential witnesses. August would have been the likely suspect—it was his valet, after all. Except, he couldn’t have known his servant would be in the room, let alone would drink from the glass. So who was the intended victim?
He laid Brianna on the plush carpet and knelt beside her. He brushed her bangs out of her eye, sweeping aside the feather headdress.
And who was the poisoner?
He might have spied something if he hadn’t dallied over his evening dress, and what had his delay accomplished? Not a bluidy thing. His hair still stuck up a little in front. As for the noose around his neck, he could feel the ends brushing his jaw.
“Damn it, Brianna, wake up!”
“Señor Stuart?” Esmé pried apart the Van Sargents. Worry pinched her features, increased the pitch of her voice. Two men in ship’s uniform squeezed through behind her, parting the assembled crowd. An elderly man in a somber suit appeared and set a black bag on the table.
Ignoring the newcomers, Duncan leaned close to Esmé’s ear. “Has Brianna eaten anything tonight?”
Shock flashed in her brown eyes. Her gaze flicked to the corpse before meeting his.
“No, señor. The dinner, it has not been served.”
He nodded. Relief flooded him.
“I believe she has fainted.”
“There are smelling salts in our room.”
“Are you a doctor, sir?” Curry and garlic permeated the air as the elderly man who’d arrived with the ship’s crew creaked to a stop beside Duncan. He leaned over Brianna with his ear near her mouth. “Peppermint,” he whispered, straightened then peeled the glove off her left hand. His index finger settled comfortably against the inside of her wrist. “An admirable heartbeat.”
“I’m nae a doctor.”
“Hmm, yet your prognosis is undoubtedly correct.” The man peered at Duncan over the gold rims of his spectacles. “The ladies do like to lace tightly, don’t they?” His Adam’s apple bobbed in the wattles of his throat. “Smelling salts should set Miss to rights. You’ve sent the companion to fetch them, hmm? ”
“That won’t be necessary.” Sir Reginald stepped forward. “Mrs. Van Sargent, the salts, if you please.”
Duncan grabbed the small glass bottle—he didn’t trust the missionary any more than he did the others. Glass scraped glass as he plucked the stopper free. Ammonia invaded his nose, stripped the moisture from the back of his throat. Definitely smelling salts. He shoved them under Brianna’s nose.
She winced, turned her head and coughed. Her eyes flickered open.
“Duncan. Wh-what happened?”
“You are very much mistaken.” She shoved herself into a sitting position, tucked a stray lock of hair behind her ear and straightened her bodice. “A Grey does not faint.”
“It’s alright, dear.” Mrs. Van Sargent tucked the bottle back in her purse. “I daresay, if Mr. Stuart hadn’t caught you you would have crashed right into the table.”
Movement caught his eye. At the doctor’s nod, the burly crewmen lifted the body. Duncan shifted his weight to block Brianna’s view. Her lips parted; her eyes grew round. He had acted too late. She had seen the corpse.
“That man.” She pointed to the blanket-draped body with her bare hand. “He...”
“He’s dead, dear.”
“Choked to death,” Van Sargent added with relish.
“Such a terrible tragedy,” said Miss Phillips, dabbing her dry eyes.
“Sir Reginald doesn’t think it will prolong our stay aboard the <i>Osiris.”
Duncan’s skin crawled as Mrs. Van Sargent beamed down at them like a goddess spreading her benevolence.
“But he—“ Brianna’s nails dug into Duncan’s arm.
”Choked to death.” He kept his voice firm, his tone final. Brianna had been around death most of her life, was intimately acquainted with most of its faces. He wouldn’t allow her knowledge to get her killed.
When did you start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I started writing in 1997 and finished the first draft within a couple months. No one will ever see that book. EVER.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Every where. It's the characters that are slow to arrive.
Do you plot and outline or do you just write? Plotter or Pantser?
I am a die-hard pantser. I can't plot more than a chapter or two in advance or my brain thinks I've already written the story and moves on.
Can you tell us a little about the process of getting your first book published?
I submitted Brianna's parents story to Zumaya Publications in 2000 via email. The editor loved the book and sent me a contract. Except, I never got the email. Fortunately, my editor remembered me and my story and followed up. So naturally, I signed with her and am, obviously, still with them today. Editing, proofing, etc. was all done by email and was relatively harmless.
What book have you most recently released?
Brianna is my brand spanking new release. It's out in print and now I'm just waiting for the kindle and nook versions to be out.
What was your favorite part of the book?
I love Brianna's sense of humor and peserverance.
Rate your story in terms steaminess?
On a scale of 1-5, it's a three. There's an on-screen love scene, but I tend to focus more on the sexual tension then the actual act.
Do you have another book in the works?
I have a Valentine's day book that will be out in January from Zumaya. It's part of my holiday series and was fun to write. Cupid and Psyche make appearances in unexpected ways. There's a free short story if you want to read the heroine's sister's story.
What advice would you give new authors? What have you learned about the business?
Never give up, never surrender! Okay, I stole that from Galaxy Quest, but it holds true for writers. This can be a brutal business and you have to believe in yourself and your talent. It helps to surround yourself with others who can understand and cheer you on.
Boxers or Briefs? Boxer-briefs, the combo version or is that cheating?
Sounds good to me!
Pizza or hamburger? Pizza, thin crust
Beer, Wine, or mixed drink? None of the above. Sadly, I'm allergic to alcohol.
If you could spend a week anywhere in the world, where would it be? Would you write or read there, or do something else? I would got to Paris and try as many different dishes and visit as many museums as I could. No writing allowed--although I might be a book out of it:-)
What were your first impressions of each other?
Brianna--Oh, my! Duncan was a sheriff then and I wanted nothing more than to touch that star hanging on his broad chest.
Duncan--She was such a delicate creature, otherworldly almost. I made it my mission to cheer her up.
What’s your favorite characteristic of each other?
Brianna--Duncan is very passionate, although it does get the better of him sometimes.
Duncan-What man doesn't get a little irritated when someone is trying to kill his love?
Brianna--That doesn't answer the question, dear. What do you love about me?
Duncan--Who says I love you?
Brianna--You love me. Otherwise why would you threaten to kill me all the time?
Duncan--Because, your careless with your life, you're constantly putting yourself in danger, you hang out with spies--
Brianna--Oh, look! There's another question.
What are your plans for the near future?
Brianna--enjoy my honeymoon.
For more information about Linda's books visit her @ http://www.lindaandrews.net/
Linda is giving away one digital copy to a lucky commenter. Be sure to leave your email to enter!
Thanks for being here today Linda!