GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY
by Gwenan Haines
Collateral Damage by Gwenan Haines is currently on tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.
For three years Laura Drake has watched Senator Pete Worthington promote a series of gorgeous women while she sits in a forgotten corner answering constituent letters on an outdated computer. When Worthington asks her to find an elusive file one Friday night he sets off a series of events that brands her as a killer and puts her life in jeopardy. The path she sets out on forces her to confront not only the nature of evil but the ghosts from her past that have never been set to rest.
FBI Agent Dalton Ross transferred from Chicago to Washington to escape his own ghosts. When his investigation leads him to Laura he's torn between his desire to keep her safe and the need to protect his own heart. As the mystery that surrounds them deepens, Laura and Dalton race to save themselves and the nation from someone willing to sacrifice anything to protect a secret.
Dalton checked his gun and opened the driver’s side door as quietly as possible. “Appearances can be deceiving.”
She opened her door too. “You leave me here, I’m gone when you get back.” She flashed an object in front of his face. “And I’ve got the key.”
“Do you have a death wish or something?” How had she managed to get hold of the key? He was sure he’d put it in his wallet, which was tucked away in the glove compartment. He would have remembered it if she’d opened it. “I thought you said you were dull.”
“I am.” She deposited the key down the front of her dress. “But I’m kinda getting the hang of this adventure thing.” A grin tugged at the corner of his mouth, but he suppressed it. She was charming, no doubt about that. And damn mysterious, too. As she stood there smiling with cat-like satisfaction, he had to resist the urge to take her in his arms and kiss her. Just the idea of pressing his lips to hers was making him hard. The trouble was Laura had no idea what she was up against. She thought of all this as an exciting change from her ordinary life. But this was real life, and real life was full of people whose sole purpose was to inflict as much pain as they possibly could. It was all too easy to go about one’s business without ever seeing the dark side of things - he’d done it for years, and in a way, he wished he could go back to being that twenty-year-old kid who signed up for an interview with the FBI mostly to impress his buddies. But after more than a decade spent hunting killers he knew that like all fairy-tales, the happily-ever-after of suburbia had its monsters.
In real life, people died.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]
Praise for the Book
"The action in this story is endless. The only time the story stalls is during the whole reveal scene at the end of the book, when Laura is finally told what is happening and why. [...] Some of the scenes and subject matter are very disturbing, but only as much detail as is needed is actually given, leaving much to the reader’s imagination, which is a good thing. The seriousness of the subject matter actually causes the reader to feel the urgency, along with Dalton and Laura, of stopping the Senator." ~ KLV
"Drama at its finest! Page turning smoothly written novel. The plot behind this covers thickens over time ... But what happens? You can find out everything there is to know once you grab yourself a copy! I'm telling ya ... You'll find yourself lost behind this cover. Wrapped deep into the dramatic scenes and lives of the characters ... " ~ Amazon Customer
Guest Post by the Author
My Inspiration for Writing This Book
When I sat down to write my second romantic suspense novel, I had a few different ideas I wanted to try out. I love books about the paranormal and I also had lots of potential serial killer plots I’d jotted down in notebooks. For a few days I brainstormed about as many of them as I could, but the possibility of setting a story in Washington kept pulling me back. This is mostly because I used to work in D.C. and never wholly lost my fascination with the nation’s capital. Though I never worked for a senator (as Laura Drake does) I spent many hours on Capitol Hill - not to mention the hours I spent doing just the same kind of drudgery that Laura’s working on at the beginning of the book. I still remember the low starting pay for entry-level jobs and having to scrounge up money for happy hour on Friday nights. I even used to visit a restaurant called The Hawk ‘n’ Dove, which is where Laura first meets FBI agent Dalton Ross. I still remember visiting famous landmarks with family and friends who would go on about the glamorous life I must be living when the reality was that I was too busy stuffing envelopes to take in sights like the Jefferson and Lincoln memorials - unless somebody happened to be visiting, that is.
But being broke and overworked aren’t the only things I remember about my life in the city. I also ended up having my share of glamor and fun - just like Laura does. I vividly remember attending a posh party at the Russian Embassy, meeting the Vietnamese ambassador and waking up to a Chinese research fellow bringing me homemade dumplings (I’d fallen asleep after hours on the couch at the nonprofit where I worked). I should probably mention here that nobody ever tried to kill me, nor did I end up with a hot guy like Dalton. Even so, it was great to have the chance to revisit these memories when writing the book.
Another thing that sparked the idea for the novel was fear. Stephen King once said he writes about the things that really scare him, and I reached into that part of myself for Collateral Damage. Laura’s past involves some very dark places, places nobody wants to go, and part of the story sprang from that. How do you open yourself up again after you’ve been badly scarred? Is it even possible? Another fear I tried to confront involves terrorism. What would it be like if terrorists got a firm hold on the election process? Who can we really trust and what fears might some people be willing to take advantage of? One of the oddest things about my experience writing the book is to see it come out in such a strange election year. I finished the manuscript months before the election got underway and it’s a bit surreal to have the book come out when the race has become so polarized. At the same time, it’s reassuring to be able to escape the real world and talk about one political story that’s purely fantasy!
About the Author
I live in an old Cape house with my daughter, too many books, and a red-and-white Siberian husky born on Halloween. After working in Washington, D.C. for several years and traveling to Russia, Europe and Pakistan, I moved back to New England. I’m the author of the romantic suspense novel Vertigo. Collateral Risk, the follow-up novel to Collateral Damage, is forthcoming from The Wild Rose Press. When I’m not working on fiction, I write poetry, teach literature and am still trying to learn how to cook.
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or B&N gift card.