Character Interview with Lee Thornton, from Under His Protection

I’m getting so excited about this book!

Today I’m interviewing Lee Thornton, Fox’s younger brother. He’s getting his own book, but he doesn’t seem happy to be here. He’s sitting with one leg flung over the other, his arms crossed in front against his chest. He looks like a young Antonio Banderas with his long ponytail and muscled arms. If you can’t remember young Antonio, you can find him here.

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So, Lee, what do you think about this whole book thing? Are you ready?

I guess. Is this really necessary? You followed Fox and Laura around for a few months, and now you want to shadow me?

You know the routine. All of our fans are dying to know what is going on in your life. Do you have a lady you’re interested in?

And that’s why this isn’t going to work. I’m not even seeing anyone. I’m trying to get this company off the ground and I don’t have time for romance.

(I didn’t remind him that Fox wasn’t seeing anyone when we started with him either)

What about Deena? (If he could look even more forbidding, he did)

I don’t want to talk about her. She moved to Las Vegas. She didn’t have time for me and I didn’t have time for her. I guess it was mutual.

I see. (I didn’t know how to respond to that. During the last book, he and Deena seemed really cozy.) Are you still doing Bonnie’s show?

I told her I wouldn’t be back on. Mom’s not happy about it, but it’s hard to be taken seriously in my line of work if your face is plastered all over a cooking show.

So there has been some question as to whether you can cook or not. Fox said you are an awesome cook, but Laura told me that you had trouble with turkey bacon. Who’s right?

I’ve been on a cooking show for years. Of course I can cook. When I made BLT’s for Laura I played helpless to get her to let her guard down. I cook all the time.

Tell me more about your company. What will you be focusing on?

I’m still working on a business plan, but I basically want to help business owners and individuals obtain the security they need for their budget.

So you want to be a bodyguard?

[He grimaces.] Not really. I’ll mostly be the link between businesses that want additional security and other companies that provide it. I’ll be deciding what they need, and then putting them in touch with companies that provide it. Sort of like a general contractor for all things security.

But you wouldn’t turn down a bodyguard job if it were short term?

Why do you ask?

No reason. Is Robert upset that you’re branching out on your own?

No, he always knew that I wouldn’t work there forever. I’ve followed orders for too long in the Marines to have someone else in charge now. I want to see what I can do, see if I can make it on my own. In fact, Robert is the one who set up this job with Senator Martin Crowne.

That’s right. You’re meeting with him tomorrow?

He wants to talk about security for his daughter Elizabeth. She’s running for Georgia attorney general, and apparently there have been some death threats.

What do you know about her?

Not a lot. She’s a pretty successful lawyer from what I hear. I’m sure it’s just the basics. Check the office, put a system in her house. Pretty routine. It will be nice to have a senator as a client. That can’t hurt.

What are you looking for in a woman to date?

I’m not looking for anyone right now. I said that.

But if you were?

Someone who realizes that I have a lot to offer even if I didn’t go to college and get a degree. There’s more to life than book learning.

That’s all I have. Do you have any questions for me?

What’s the name of this one?

Under His Protection. And you’ll get to carry your gun.

Works for me. I never go anywhere without it.

You’ve got it today? [Since he’s wearing a golf shirt and khakis, I didn’t see where he could be hiding a gun]

He lifts his leg and shows me the black cowboy boots and the holster hidden inside.

Oh, and one other thing. Stay out of sight. If you get in my way I’m canceling the whole project.

Did you notice me the last time?

Can’t say that I did. All right. If that’s all, I’ll head out. I need to do some more digging on the senator’s daughter.

 

We started to shake hands as he left, but then he said “What the hell” and pulled me into a hug. I shouldn’t have been surprised – Lee was always really friendly to me, and I’ve known him for a few years now, but it still took me off guard. If I weren’t happily married I might have to check into some security for myself. He doesn’t know it yet, but I think he will be the perfect match for Elizabeth.

(If you’re in the mood to look for Spike’s list of top 10 bro-tails, check them out here.)

http://www.spike.com/articles/wb4cs2/the-top-10-most-important-dude-ponytails?page=1

I’ll be interviewing some of my other characters as we lead up to book launch. Stay tuned!

Also, if you haven’t yet, make sure to click here to sign up for my newsletter. I still need a few more subscriptions before I can give away the $5.00 Starbucks Giftcard I promised.  A new one will be coming out around the middle of July.

 

Writer Wednesday – Meet Victoria Adams

Today I’m taking a break from editing to introduce you to Victoria Adams, who is celebrating her new release, A Guy and a Girl.

Now, let’s talk about hockey.

Lies, deceits and secrets – not a good way to begin a relationship.

A Guy and a Girl

A Guy and a Girl

After an ugly past forced Hunter Connolly to escape to Europe, the talented hockey player is back in North America and determined to land a position with a professional team. But he can’t hide from his past forever, especially when his beautiful classmate, Chelsea, forces him to reexamine his life. Soon, hockey is not his first priority anymore.

Chelsea Henderson is a bright co-ed working towards her dream of being a professional dancer. She forms a unique friendship with one of her father’s newest recruits and would love nothing more than to take it to the next level. However, there’s just one small problem. He doesn’t know she’s his coach’s daughter.

Amid the deceptions, danger lurks closer than they could ever imagine. Will fate contrive to rip the young lovers apart? Or will Hunter and Chelsea have their shot at love?

You can buy the book at Amazon here: A Guy and A Girl

 Here’s an excerpt:

Hunter stepped into the campus coffeehouse and looked around. No Kendall, that was a relief. No Chelsea, that was a disappointment. He settled at a table in the back corner and opened his notebook.

“Coffee? Double cream, no sugar?”

Hunter smiled at the waitress.

“You studying for the antigens test?”

He grimaced and nodded. His stomach rumbled. “And somethin’ to eat, please. BLT.”

Focused on his studying, Hunter barely acknowledged the arrival of his sandwich let alone remembered eating it. A figure sat in the chair opposite him. Hunter looked up from his notes. Seated across from him was a man with an angry brow.

“Just thought I’d set you straight.” Todd’s tone matched the look on his face.

Keeping his voice level, Hunter placed his pen on the table. “Looking forward to the experience.”

“Stay away from Chelsea.”

“Chels told me she dumped you.”

“Chelsea. Don’t go sticking any cute, little nicknames on her.” Todd leaned closer. “You don’t have the right. She’s mine.” He brushed a crumb off the table. “My fiancée and I had a little disagreement. When you’ve been together as long as we have…and as intimate as we’ve been…” He closed his eyes and sighed. “Our love is too deep…too fulfilling to be broken by silly disagreements.”

Fiancée? “If your love’s that true then why am I a threat?” Hunter forced the sarcasm out of his voice.

“You aren’t a threat to me. I know Chelsea loves me, passionately. I hear it in her whispers and feel it in her kisses.”

If I throw up on him will he go away? Hunter picked up his pen and twirled it between his fingers. “Chels is just a classmate.”

“Chelsea!” Todd slammed his hands on the table. His eyes narrowed to a slit. “Just a classmate? Chelsea’s the most sublime creature on this planet. It’s my destiny to love and protect her.”

Gawd, get a life. Hunter gripped his pen. “I have to get back to studying. Got a test tomorrow.”

Todd’s voice lowered to growl. “I meant every word I said. Every single word!” He pushed his chair back and stood. “If you go near her, it’ll be the last thing you ever do.” He turned and walked away.

 Meet the Author:

I’m Victoria Adams. I live in Ontario, Canada with my husband and pets. Daughter’s grown up and is now teaching. I like to garden, cook and belly dance. In the summer, cars slow down when they pass my front yard and the passengers gaze at my flower beds. Friends love to be invited over for supper as the meal is going to be good, good for you and nowhere near low-calorie! No dieting allowed at dinner parties. As to belly dancing, find a class and try it. It’s a blast!

I’ve been writing since I was little. Being an only child, long car rides were filled with making up stories in my head about the people I saw out the car window. When my daughter was younger, I made up stories that she suggested. I’d say – Once upon a time there was a…. She’d shout an answer – chicken! And the story went from there. Great creativity exercise as it turns out. Now, my writing style has taken a split to contemporary romance for adults and contemporary romance for new adults.

You can find Victoria at these social media outlets:

Blog – Victoria’s Pages of Romance – http://victoriaadams.blogspot.com

FaceBook – http://www.facebook.com/victoriaadams.romancewriter

Facebook Author Page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Adams/244325918978641

Facebook – Circles Trilogy Page – http://www.facebook.com/CirclesTrilogy?ref=hl

Twitter – http://twitter.com/_VictoriaAdams

Website – http://victoriaadamsromance.wix.com/victoria-adams

Google+ – Victoria Adams

Wattpad – http://www.wattpad.com/user/VictoriaAdams

Plus – Triberr, Amazon Author, LinkedIn, SocialOmph, Goodreads etc.

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Writer Wednesday – Meet Author Icy Snow Blackstone

Been slammed editing and trying to get this book done, so it’s been a while since I’ve hosted any writers on Writer Wednesday. Today I’m featuring Icy Snow Blackstone, talking about her new book Tuesday’s Child.


 

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What would you do if, after twenty years, your father suddenly declared he wasn’t your father and wanted you to stop using his name?

That’s the problem facing Grace McAllister in Tuesday’s Child.  Grace hasn’t seen her father since the night she and her mother left Temple, Georgia when she was five-years-old. Now, with his death, Benjamin Troup McAllister performs his final act of cruelty by denying his paternity.

Grace’s first thought is to return to her California home and put it all behind her, but Mayfield Donovan, a childhood bully suddenly turned ardent suitor, convinces her to try to discover her real father’s identity. When Grace agrees, she doesn’t realize their search will put another friend in deadly danger and also open up a very unpleasant can of worms for both her and May.

Back in the 1990’s, I wrote a novel titled Jericho Road which was set in the Vietnam era.  In Tuesday’s Child, I return to he same town, for another look after forty years.  One of the characters from Jericho Road is still around and he makes a small but very important appearance in this story also.

What May and Grace discover in their investigations will come as a shock and it’s going to take some determination and extreme soul-searching on each’s part for them as they face the truth of what they’ve found…

Let’s take a look at the trailer…

 

BLURB:

Grace McAllister has neither seen nor heard from her father since her mother left him twenty years before.  Now, Benjamin Troup McAllister is dead and Grace is invited to return to Temple, Georgia, for the reading of his will.  She’s in for more than the culture shock of a small Southern town, however, for not only does she inherit nothing, but her father’s will also denies his paternity. Enlisting childhood friend Mayfield Donovan, Grace attempts to find her real father.  As they sift through the facts of her mother’s life and the men who loved her, they uncover a tale of revenge, deception, and murder, and discover a truth neither wants to believe or accept…

 

EXCERPT:

“Since everyone’s present,” Jefferson Simmons smiled at us as if we were at a church picnic instead of a will reading.  “We may as well get started.”

There was a loud sigh from somewhere.  I couldn’t tell which of the eager heirs it came from…Ben…Sammi…Abigail?  I’d been introduced to each but it was a brief and tentative thing.  We’d all gone straight to the library to wait the lawyer’s arrival and sat there, not speaking.

He’d been punctual, coming through the door just as the clock in the foyer began striking nine.  There were shakings of hands with Ben, a gentle pat on Abigail’s shoulder, a hug for Sammi, and another for me.  Then he sat at the huge mahogany desk dominating the room, made his announcement and pulled a manila envelope out of his valise.  While he made a big show of placing it on the desk and breaking the seals, holding it up and saying, “Please verify that this hasn’t been opened as per Benjamin Troup’s instructions.” I leaned my chin against my hand and let my gaze rove idly around the room.

This was a genuine library, just like they showed in the movies…books on four walls, the only break in the monotony of the shelves being the door entering from the foyer, and two large windows on the outer walls.  There was a large, ornate light fixture overhead that missed being called a chandelier by just a fraction, and little tables with reading lamps placed strategically.  Most the chairs had been drawn up to the desk.  They were big and comfy and it made for a crowded arrangement.  I tried to imagine myself as a child curling up with a storybook in one of those chairs.  It didn’t work.  The volumes on the shelves were too thick.  None of them looked as if they’d hold any interest for a kindergartner.

A large fireplace intruded on one inner wall, and above it was a portrait.  Sammi had whispered to me, “That’s Daddy,” when we came in, and all I could think that if any man looked less like one wanting to be called Daddy, it was the subject of that painting.  She’d also said it was done a couple of years after Mama and I left, so perhaps that was why there was such an aura of anger and pent-up emotion in the painted face.  Benjamin Troup McAllister was handsome—don’t get me wrong about that—but he looked belligerent…forceful…a man who wanted things his way, and perhaps was cruel when he didn’t get them.  Maybe that’s why he looked as he did, because something had happened that he couldn’t prevent…his wife had walked out, never to return.  And the artist had captured what he thought he’d kept well-hidden.  The painting was a three-quarter, showing him sitting in a chair, possibly the high-backed one behind the desk.  It looked like a throne and he was the king occupying it…tall, blue-eyed, dark-haired, and furious that his queen had abandoned him.

“I, Benjamin Troup McAllister, Junior…”  Mr. Simmons’ words broke into my thoughts.  Funny, I’d never thought of my father as being named after someone.  Perhaps that’s why everyone used his full name, to differentiate from his own father.  “…being of sound mind, do this day set forth in this last will and testament, the distribution of my monies and properties and also certain admonitions to be put into effect after my death…”

God, that sounds ominous!  I hoped he hadn’t put in some weird stipulation like I had to live at McAllister Place for a year and a day to get what he’d left me.

“…to my beloved wife, Abigail Marsh McAllister, I give permission to continue to live in the domicile called McAllister Place…”

Now that’s generous.  Would she be kicked out with just the clothes on her back if he hadn’t written that?  I glanced at Abigail.  She was a small woman, and slender, face what another era would’ve described as piquant with a slightly tip-tilted nose.  Blonde, blue-eyed, slender…with a shock, I realized she reminded me of my own mother.  So, dear ol’ Dad was a repeat offender, marrying a second woman who reminded him of the one who got away?  I hoped he hadn’t made her pay for what Mama did.

Clearing his throat, Mr. Simmons look back at the papers in his hand.  “To my son, Benjamin Troup, III…”

Ben perked up as he heard his name.  He’d been sitting there fidgeting, obviously not wanting to be here, and just as obviously wanting to leave.  Perhaps that was the reason for his haste and rudeness before.  I wouldn’t be surprised if as soon as his portion was finished, he jumped up and ran out.  Abigail reached over and placed a hand over his, patting it.  That made him look at her, return the pat, and the impatient movements subside.  For about two seconds.

“…I leave an allowance of $20,000 a year, and the admonition that he spend it wisely, for there are to be no advances.  The estate will also continue to pay the insurance on the Corvette he now drives, though the title is to stay in my wife’s name with the stipulation that use of it be taken away permanently if he get any citation for a traffic violation more serious than a parking ticket…”

“… I also am providing enough funds to pay his tuition to Mercer University and the Walter F. George School of Law, including matriculation fees, books, dormitory charges, and meals, plus he is to pledge to Kappa Alpha fraternity…”

Ben’s face darkened at that, lips saddening compressing.  So Ben Three wasn’t really wild about an extended university stay?  Becoming an attorney?  Or the frat?

“…providing he maintains at least an A- average in all subjects.  At the end of any quarter in which he has any grade lower than that, funds will be terminated immediately.”

Ben stiffened.  He started to get up.  Abigail’s hand on his kept him in his chair.  He sat there in frustrated silence, pinned by that deceptively small grip on his fingers while he was further told that he was being given 24 per cent of the remaining shares in all companies.

That did it.  He was on his feet, wrenching his hand from Abigail’s before Simmons could finish.

“That’s bullshit!  Twenty-four per cent?  Does that mean Sammi gets more than I do?  What the fuck, Jeff!  Hell, I’m his only son.  I should be the one getting the larger share!”

“Benjie…”  Abigail reached up, catching at his arm.  He shook her off.

“No, Mom.  I’m sick of this.  He ran my life while he was alive and now he’s trying to run it from the grave!  I don’t want to go to Mercer, I don’t want to be a KA, and I damn sure don’t want to be a lawyer!”  He was around the chair, pausing at the door to look back.  “I’m contesting it, Mr. Simmons.  I’m getting my own attorney and fighting that damned thing!’

Then he was gone.  Footsteps clattered, doors slammed, a car engine roared into life and wheels screamed.  Then silence prevailed, shocking and embarrassed.  Abigail said, quietly, “He’s upset.  Can anyone blame him?  Please, Jefferson, hurry on and let’s get the rest over with.”

Sammi was next on the list.  Samantha.  A sweet kid, from the brief conversation I’d had with her.  Sixteen, a feminine version of her brother. “To my daughter, Samantha…”  She sat up straighter as the lawyer spoke her name, biting her lip and looking anxious.

I looked around.  No one left except moi.  Oh Lord, after seeing how he treated the two children who’d lived with him, what was in that document for me?

“And last, but not least, there is the matter of Grace Stephanie McAllister…”

The matter of…?  I tensed, turning my attention to the man behind the desk.  He had stopped, was rapidly scanning the rest of the document and scowling.  He looked up, met my eyes, and looked away.  “I…  Grace… I’m not certain I should read this aloud.  Perhaps you could stop by my office?  And we can—”

“Nothing doing,” I said, realizing I sounded like Ben.  “Do it here and now, Mr. Simmons, and let’s get it over with.”

“Very well.”  He didn’t look too happy about that.  “But first, let me say I had no idea what this will contained.”  With that he cleared his throat once again, more out of nervousness this time,  “…the matter of Grace Stephanie McAllister…” hesitated an instant, then continued.  “If you are present at this reading, as I imagine you will be, out of curiosity, if nothing else…”

You got that pegged right, Daddy.

“…I leave you… Nothing.”

What? I visibly jerked.  Nothing?  I came all this way for nothing?  Abigail’s head came up.  She looked shocked.  Sammi was staring from the lawyer to me.

“Though my name is on your birth certificate, you are not my daughter…” Mr. Simmons plowed on, not looking anywhere except at the will now.  “This fact was confessed to me by my first wife, Miriam Baker McAllister the night she left my home forever.  Your mother was pregnant when I married her, though I was unaware of that fact at the time.  I was led to believe your birth was a premature one.  From the moment I learned this until now, I have paid not one cent toward your upbringing and don’t intend for you to ever get a penny of my estate.  Let this document be my official acknowledgement of Miriam’s duplicity and her daughter’s illegitimacy.  I also wish you, Grace McAllister, to no longer use my name.  Funds have been set aside for you to legally have it changed to your mother’s maiden name.  I suggest you do this immediately.”  There was a slight pause, then he read the last words in a hasty mumble.  “So signed and sealed this day and in the presence of these witnesses, Benjamin Troup McAllister, Junior, August 2, 2011.”

The silence after that last word trailed away was, to use a familiar cliché, thunderous.  My ears seemed to ring.  I could feel my face getting hot, then cold, and my vision clouding.  I wondered if I was about to faint.  I didn’t feel as if I could move.  All I could do was sit there, thoughts whirling around and colliding against each other in my head.  He wasn’t my father…but she said I looked like him…she admitted it…pregnant before they married…Did that mean my mother slept around?  Or had it been one of those accidents and my real father wouldn’t marry her and Benjamin Troup was there and handy and wanted to…  I…oh God…  And now everyone knows

 

Tuesday’s Child is available from Class Act Books.

Link: http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/component/virtuemart/romance/tuesday-s-child-pdf-detail?Itemid=0

 

Icy Snow Blackstone is the pseudonym of Toni V. Sweeney. She is also the author of Jericho Road, Bargain with Lucifer, Brother Devil, and Gypsy Charm, romances all set in the South. Her paranormal romance The Irish Lady’s Spanish Lover will also be released by Class Act Books later this year.

 


I love Toni/Icy Snow’s voice, and I can’t wait to check this one out.

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