Monday, May 30, 2016

Sean Donovan: Thief for Hire



RIW:   What's your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about YOU?
Donovan:     I am as surprised as anyone a story (never mind a series!) has been written about my exploits. I was raised poor, with an abusive, neglectful father, and as a consequence I had to leave home at sixteen, because one of us was going to kill the other (Humourless chuckle). After some life experiences in Montreal, Canada, I educated myself in the security business and ended up a consultant in the federal government. I discovered that people were careless about where they keep their valuables, and that there was a market for these things.

I became a contract thief, It’s a rough life, where people complicate your life, and money uncomplicates it. Until recently, I’ve therefore kept people away, and cash at hand.

RIW:   Can you tell us about your hero?
Donovan:     I travel all over the world, separating folks from their possessions. I’m forty, been beaten up more times than I can remember, but other than that, I’m pretty good at my job. I guess you could say I’m rich, in that I have two off-shore accounts. I basically live in hotels. I have an apartment in Montreal, which I seldom visit.

I’m no James Bond. My best stealing attribute is my ability to blend into a scene. I am not too tall, not too big, not too anything. Although I separate people from their things, I try not to hurt anyone. If, however, I run into a very bad person, I confess I do take some delight in upsetting their lives in some manner. They are certainly financially worse off after meeting me. Sometimes, I do…harsher things, if they deserve it.

RIW:   What problems do you have to face and overcome in your life?
Donovan:     Two problems I have are relationships and kindness. Until recently, I’ve avoided relationships, because as anyone can tell you, they can lead to trouble. Certainly, they complicate things. I confess I’ve met someone, recently.

Kindness is my unexpected problem. There can be no room for sentiment in my line of work. Yet, it keeps creeping in. It’s a weakness, and frankly, if I had no kindness in me, I’d be safer. Kindness makes me do things that open me up to being found out. I’d be better off without it, but that’s not how it works.

Mostly, though, I’m afraid of being found, or getting caught. Over the years I’ve made numerous enemies, on both sides of the law. Things won’t go well for me, if I ever get caught.

Actually, I do have another problem. I may, at age forty, be developing a bit of a conscience. That’s the kiss of death, for someone whose line of work is breaking the law. I’m working through that, and it may lead to me changing careers, we’ll see. Hey! Check in on me down the road; I’ll let you know how it’s working for me.

RIW:   Do you expect your hero to help or is he the problem?
Donovan:     In theory, my behavior suggests I may be the problem. But then, something will pop up, right in my face, and I know I can’t leave it be. I have to fix it, even if it’s going to place me in danger. My sister was set up by this jerk, and I couldn’t rest until he got his comeuppance. A boy gets killed and his little sister is in financial need. Something has to be done about that, right?

RIW:   Where do you live?
Donovan:     (Laughs out loud) I don’t live anywhere, of course! I own a nice apartment in Montreal, Canada, but I seldom see it. My ostensible job—as a security consultant for the Canadian Government—takes me to embassies all over the world. And my real job—as a contract thief—also takes me to jobs all over the world. I live a very strange life, as far as where I lay my head at night. In the past year, I’ve done work in Canada, the United States, England, France and Romania. Have you ever heard the phrase “There’s no rest for the wicked?” I think they were talking about me (Laughs again).

If you asked me where I’d like to live, that becomes an easier question to answer. I’d like to live on a winery. My winery. But that’s for another day; we’ll see how things turn out.

RIW:   During what time period does your story take place?
Donovan:     In my first story, Three Wrongs (If two wrongs don’t make a right, what do three wrongs do?), the time frame was about 2010. AMACAT (A Mask, A Cask and A Task) takes place in 2012.

RIW:   How are you coping with the conflict in your life?
Donovan:      I’ll be honest with you. I’m lonely. And I’m tired of getting beaten up. And although I don’t drink much, I’ve developed a love for wine: drinking it, trying the many different kinds, watching it go from vine to bottle to glass. I’d love to own a winery, some day. As for a partner, I think I could be open to sharing a life with someone. They’d have to be special, maybe a little bit open to a different lifestyle. And they’d better love food, wine, music, and travel. That won’t change in me.

RIW:   That’s all the questions we have for you. Thank you for speaking to us.
Donovan:     It’s been a pleasure. If you see me wandering through your hallway, some night, just close your eyes and go back to sleep. I was just a dream.

RIW:   If I see you wandering through my hallway, I suspect you’ll be making a donation. ;-D I write better than I market.

You can read Sean’s exploits by purchasing the series at the following links:

Three Wrongs

AMACAT

Steal It All
 
Bio: Charles (Chuck) Bowie

Chuck Bowie graduated from the University of New Brunswick in Canada with a Bachelor Degree in Science. He lives on the East Coast of Canada, an hour North and East of Maine. Growing up as an air force brat, his writing is influenced by the
study of human nature and how people behave, habits he picked up as his family moved nineteen times in his first twenty one years. Chuck loves food, wine, music and travel and all play a role in his work.

His writing will often draw upon elements of these experiences to round out his characters and plotlines. Chuck is involved in the world of music, supporting local musicians, occasionally playing with them and always celebrating their successes. Because he enjoys venting as much as the next fellow, Chuck will at times share his thoughts with a brief essay, some of which can be found on his website. http://chuckbowie.ca

He is working through the fourth novel entitled The Body on the Underwater Road in the suspense-thriller series: Donovan: Thief for Hire. His newest published work is entitled Steal It All, and follows Three Wrongs and AMACAT.

Chuck is married, with two adult musician sons. He and his wife Lois live in Fredericton, New Brunswick, in Canada.

The Plot: Steal It All

In this, third in the suspense-thriller series Donovan: Thief for Hire, Donovan is obliged, for the first time in his career, to work with the authorities—Scotland Yard and the RCMP—to solve a murder in the gang-owned streets of Manchester, England. Having also been persuaded to steal an historical piece of art from a sketchy lawyer, Donovan's hands are full. He does, however, have time to pursue a new relationship with a director of the Canadian embassy in London.

He finds the source of all of the troubles, but is there enough time to keep three alive, save two and capture one? The farther you travel with Donovan, the more tense it gets. Steal It All.

Excerpt 1: (Action)

The man went to work. “What’s your first name?” He pulled out a set of handcuffs, clicking one manacle onto her left wrist.

“Brenda.”

“Okay, Brenda, sit on the toilet in the far cubicle.” He produced two feet of wire cable and moved closer to run the cable behind the toilet reservoir. He leaned in, straddled above her, in order to complete the wire attachment. Her knee came up, hard, making contact with his inner thigh.
“Ungh!” He sat down on her lap and one hand closed off her windpipe. Squeezing hard enough to send a message, he breathed out a terse statement. “That wasn’t in our script. Bravery will make your child an orphan, Brenda.”

He released his grip and covered her mouth with duct tape, and then stepped away. He used the tape to secure her feet at the ankles and then wrapped it around the toilet seat. “I’m sorry,” he said, double checking the tape on her mouth, and then he left.

Once outside the washroom, the man continued down the hall, turned right and walked all the way to the back corner of the floor. He approached the door marked Director, Trade, opened it and walked in.

The door, very solid, closed behind the intruder and the discreet click alerted the director to the presence of a guest. He swiveled around in time to receive a slug between the eyes. The man fired a second shot through the director’s heart, but he was already dead.

Excerpt 2: (Romantic)

Beth took a sip, smiled and placed the glass back on the coffee table, her lips fresh-stained with a wine blush. “Well, we can talk about that later. First off, I was thinking you may want to see my shoulder. You know, see if it healed.” She took his hand and encouraged him toward her trim bedroom.

Sean poked his head in the doorway and took a quick look around. “Not a lot of room here. I may not be able to avoid brushing up against you while we study your war wounds.” She had his sweater up and over his head, and was unbuttoning his shirt.

He pulled her in to him, and helped her to undress. “You recall that I, ah, wasn’t actually the one who got shot.” He kissed her now-bare throat. “But if it will make you more comfortable if neither of us is dressed, then I’m game.”

“I don’t recall you talking so much last time we met.” She’d unbuttoned the single clasp on the side of her skirt, and it fell to the floor. His pants followed and, a second later, she pulled back the coverlet.

He stopped, stricken by the fresh pink circle just between her left arm and sternum. His finger traced a pair of opposing, radiating lines of stitch marks that led away from it. “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize it was so close to your heart.”

The soft pad of her index finger met his lips. “Shh. You saved my career, and my life. So, my body has a tattoo unlike anyone else’s. No big deal. And speaking of my body?” Her face was a question, while her finger dropped from his mouth to explore other lines, other angles.

“Yeah, we probably don’t have to say anything else. Just one more thing.”

Beth’s face was buried in his neck, her words muffled, and she moved his hand over to cover a breast.

“I missed you, Beth. I’m awfully happy to be here.”

“Yeah, yeah.” She surfaced to offer an ear-to-ear grin. “Meanwhile, there are places in London you haven’t visited, mister. Now, get to work.” She followed her own advice.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Welcome Veronica Scott



I’d like to welcome fellow sci-fi romance author, Veronica Scott to my blog! It’s so good to have you here!

RW: Would you like to write a different genre or sub-genre than you do now?

VS:  I’d love to write a Regency romance! Regencies are some of my favorite things to read, but I’ve never written one. I’d have a Duke and a governess, either stranded at an inn or at a big house party, and… I need the rest of the plot, LOL!

RW: Bubble baths or steamy showers? Ocean or mountains? Puppies or kittens? Chocolate or caramel?
VS:  Shower, mountains, kittens and chocolate.

RW: Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?
VS:  Four to six weeks, depending on the length of the story, with another four to six weeks for the entire editing process. I have a developmental editor and a copy editor, both of whom are really good and thorough.

RW: If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
VS:  Has no patience, gets lost easily.

RW: List two authors we would find you reading when taking a break from your own writing.
VS:  Nalini Singh and Ilona Andrews!

RW: If I were a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
VS:  Each is a standalone story but I’d probably recommend Star Cruise: Outbreak because it’s pretty representative of a “Veronica Scott sci-fi romance,” with action and adventure, high stakes and romance, including some medium-hot love scenes. I write ‘disaster movie’ type books, where you spend a little time getting to know the characters and then wham, catastrophe strikes and people have to work hard to solve the problem and survive to the HEA.

RW: You'd never be able to tell…
VS:  but I’m actually an introvert.

RW: I can never fill in the blank…
VS:  because I always have multi-part answers!

Thanks so much for talking with us today! Let’s find out more about Star Cruise: Outbreak.

The Plot:

Dr. Emily Shane, a war veteran, is known as “The Angel of Fantalar” for bravery under fire. However, the doctor has her own wounds–PTSD and guilt over those she failed to save.

Persuaded to fill a berth as ship’s doctor on the luxurious interstellar cruise liner Nebula Zephyr, she finds the job brings unexpected perks, including Security Officer Jake Dilon, a fellow veteran.

However, Emily learns she and Jake didn’t leave all peril behind in the war. A mysterious ailment begins to claim victim after victim…and they must race against time and space to find the cause and a cure! Trapped on a ship no spaceport will allow to dock, their efforts are complicated by a temperamental princess and a terrorist–one who won’t hesitate to take down any being in the way of his target. If anyone’s left when the disease is through with them.

Excerpt:

The portal to the corridor burst open, and Mr. Enzell struggled into the lobby, half carrying his wife and surrounded by their white-faced children. Syl was sobbing in great gasps, and the boys’ faces were set in expressions of terror. The oldest had a blood-soaked wad of cloth pressed to his nose. Mrs. Enzell’s head lolled, and she looked as if she was crying tears of blood. Clint immediately moved to support the woman on the other side, calling for Emily as he did so.

“Seven hells, here we go.” Emily was right behind them as the men helped Mrs. Enzell to an exam room and onto the bed.

“Trynna started bleeding a few minutes ago, Doctor,” Mr. Enzell said as medical personnel hurried to get their new patient hooked up to monitors. “She said she was dizzy and then—then her eyes—she was—the tears were blood. And next thing I knew, my son’s nose was bleeding. What’s going on?”

Emily caught Relba’s attention. “Call Bevar in, stat. I’ve got this, Vicente. Take the boy into room two and get him in bed, please.” As her staff moved to carry out the orders, Emily busied herself setting up the intravenous flow of fluids for Mrs. Enzell and added a basic clotting factor. “This is apparently a complication of the intestinal virus, Mr. Enzell. Do you have any symptoms?”

He blinked. “I’m fine. Marc, my oldest, he’s not doing too well.”

Bio:


Best-selling science fiction and paranormal romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history, and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Three-time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She recently was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “City On the Edge of Forever.”

Contact Veronica:


Buy Links for Her Books:

Star Cruise: Outbreak


Lady of the Star Wind