Monday, April 13, 2015

"A No Good Itch" by S. D. Skye

A No Good Itch
(A J.J. McCall Novel Book 3)
by S. D. Skye

A No Good Itch is the third book in S. D. Skye's J.J. McCall series. Also available: The Seven Year Itch, Son of a Itch, and Spy Catcher: The J.J. McCall Novels (Books 1-3). Coming soon: The Crazy Itch.

A No Good Itch is currently on tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. The tour stops here today for my interview with the author and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well. You can also follow the review tour.

In the game of espionage, spy takes traitor.
J.J. McCall takes over.
The FBI and Italian Mafia make strange bedfellows when a vicious Russian Organized crime figure, operating at the behest of Russian Intelligence, lands in The Big Apple. The Russian intelligence hench-man, infamously known as Mashkov, avenges the death of slain a Russian sleeper agent and accidentally hits the son of an Italian crime boss, sending J.J. and Task Force Phantom Hunter to the streets of New York. They are stepping into a possible war between Russian and Italian organized crime factions, while trying to dismantle the financial hub of the most insidious Russian illegals network in U.S. History.
Meanwhile, CIA Case Officer Grayson "Six" Chance is in Moscow trying to capture a fugitive American who has stolen White House intelligence and is planning to pass it to the Russians - putting Six in a moral dilemma he may not be prepared to handle.
And when J.J. finally learns the truth surrounding her mother's death in the line of duty, her life may never be the same.

Series Video

The Sheriffs walked J.J. and Tony through a series of security doors until they reached the interrogation room. They left their overcoats with their escorts and tugged their suit jackets straight before entering. The sight of Kendell Phillips’ murderer shrouded in orange and shackled at the hands and feet gave J.J. a burst of pleasure she hadn’t felt since her early morning romp with Tony. A reddish blue bruise circled his eye and spread to the cap of his jaw. His gaze disintegrated under the weight of her glare and fell to his twiddling thumbs. She prepared to speak when an overwhelming scent jarred her senses - the smell of contemptible swine.
“My, my, my,” J.J. said to Maddix. “What an ugly fall from grace. Too bad they don’t make an Armani perp suit. You used to wear him so well.”
Positioned across from Maddix, Tony scanned the rat’s face and looked at him with a pained expression. “Rough night, eh? Did they forget to put you in solitary? Looks like you’ve been mingling with the locals.”
“Nothing I can’t handle,” he said with a shrug. Then he leaned back, spread his knees wide, and placed his hands in his lap. “So, this is the reason you came all the way to Shangri-La? To gloat?”
J.J. savored his misery and then vexed him with a tight smile. “We’re here to discuss your comrade in arms, Hawk - Gary Mosin.”
“Newsflash, doll.” Maddix forced out a grating laugh, overplaying his weak position just a smidge. “You get nothing from me, not without a deal. I want immunity.”
“Immunity?” J.J. blinked in rapid motion.
“Listen, you ain’t gotta make this difficult. We didn’t come here to pick a fight. Give us the information we need, and you can go back to counting the tiles on the ceiling ... or whatever it is you do on the inside.” Tony contrived a calm demeanor as he reached into his pant pocket and pulled out a pack of Marlboro 100s and a book of matches. He slid them to the middle of the table until they stopped beside a plastic ashtray. “Our treat. Enjoy. But if you choose to stay on the difficult route, we can reverse course any time.”
Maddix cupped his hands and with no show of gratitude, pulled the offerings to the table’s edge, his shackles jangling with his every move. He folded back the foil on the corner of the pack and knocked the open end against his wrist until a cigarette emerged. Then his brow drew together, furrowed in confusion. “You don’t have a clue, do you?” His gaze ping-ponged between J.J. and Tony before he shook his head. “That’s why you’re here. You don’t know!”

Praise for the Book
"A No Good Itch has something for almost everyone. There's FBI, CIA, espionage, mafia of both US and Russian flavors, even romance as JJ contends with her current partner - and his family - as well as juggling a flame from her past. A very solid book." ~ Utenzi
"This is my third SD Skye (JJ McCall) novel and I thoroughly enjoyed it." ~ JReader
"This it the best J.J. McCall episode yet. FBI, Russian Intelligence, New York Mafia, CIA, Russian spies escaping with state secrets, other spies trying to escape from Russia, J.J.'s torrid love interests (past and present) all stirred together create an intense page turning story. S. D. Skye writes like she knows the ins and outs of the espionage services. The dialog is exquisite -down and dirty and poetic by turns. I advise you not to purchase this book if you value your spare time. It will eat into it significantly." ~ C. M. Lance
"Loved this book! Love the fast paced thrill you get when reading. Love how you sit up waiting for something to happen next. Or if you're like me, you catch yourself almost yelling at the book! A great book to sit outside and enjoy on a nice evening! Talented author! I'm hearing that this is the 3rd in the series and now I have to read the 1st two!" ~ Peggy Salkill

Interview With the Author
Hi S. D. Skye. Thanks for joining me today to discuss your latest book, A No Good Itch.
For what age group do you recommend your book?
Strictly for grown-ups. Some sexual situations and some language.
What sparked the idea for this book?
Two of my favorite topics in the world are counterintelligence and the inner workings of the mafia. Huge fan of The Godfather and Sopranos. When I started my career at the FBI, I worked in a branch that oversaw La Cosa Nostra investigations. Say the term RICO (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) to a wiseguy and they will shudder, understanding the significant impact this statute had in dismantling "the five family" operations; the RICO statute is responsible for some of the biggest mob busts in history. So I learned a lot in that unit. Later, I moved on to work Russian counterintelligence and organized crime. You would think these topics had no real-world connections to each other, but they actually do! And I decided to explore these connections in this book. So, if I were to compare the results to some of the popular TV shows, the end product of A No Good Itch is 1/3 Sopranos, 1/3 Covert Affairs, and 1/3 The Americans. A careful mix of Russian and Italian mafia, spies, and FBI and CIA operations. 
So, which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
For this series, I knew the characters way before I had a clue about what the storylines would be. These stories are very much character-driven so you do see a progression and growth in them and their relationships. With that said, these are very intricately plotted novels with lots of layers, so if character is king, plot is queen.
What was the hardest part to write in this book?
I think the most difficult part of writing these books is keeping the plots and characters straight to ensure I don’t leave any holes hanging open. I’ve eliminated a lot of those issues by shifting from being a “pantser” (and writing as the words come) to being an “outliner” and actually putting the chapters together like puzzle pieces so they provide maximum tension and excitement.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
The biggest compliment readers consistently pay to me regarding this book, and this series really, is "I can’t put this book down" or "It’s so hard to put down." That’s my job. To hook you into the story and hold you captive until the last word. Based on the early reviews, I think A No Good Itch certainly accomplishes that.
How long did it take you to write this book?
Takes about a year which includes the plotting and outlining, writing, and editing. Because the plots are so intricate, it’s tough to write them any faster.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Write. Don’t "think" about what you plan to write … someday. Don’t plan to write. Don’t research what you might write when you decide to write. Don’t think about how you’re going to get published after you write … whether you’re going the traditional route or self-publishing … what your cover is going to look like. Don’t do any of this crap.
Just sit down and write! And don’t stop until you’re done. No editing just bleed on the page. It’s not until you’ve finished your first and second drafts that you should even begin to think beyond the writing process.
Great advice. Did you like reading when you were a child?
Yes, I loved to read. My favorite places were the library and the bookmobile that used to drive close to my neighborhood. I used to participate in summer reading challenges. One of my favorite books was Judy Blume’s Forever. When I was around 11, I told my mom I wanted to read it. But she said no … so I snuck and read it in closets with a flashlight. This all goes to say, nothing will keep me from reading a good book when I want to.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I knew I wanted to be a writer early in my life, but I thought writers were like the gods on Mt. Olympus. They didn’t mingle with mortals and I was a mortal. It wasn’t until I was nearing my 40th birthday that I even attempted to write my first novel, a romantic comedy. Eventually, after lots of rejections from literary agents, I decided to self-publish it. Four months later it was picked up by Simon & Schuster. So, that definitely affirmed that I had some talent and that with hard work I could be a writer, too.
Fantastic! What can we look forward to from you in the future?
Right now, I’m working on the 4th book in the J.J. McCall series (The Crazy Itch). I just figured out the plot and I can’t wait to finish this one. I thought this would be the beginning of winding down this series, but the stakes are higher than ever and the book will really take the storyline up yet another notch.
I’ll finish this series over the next couple of years and get back to my roots in adult and young adult romance.
Sounds good. Thank you for taking the time to stop by today. Best of luck with your future projects.

About the Author
S. D. Skye is a former FBI Counterintelligence Analyst in the Russia program and supported cases during her 12-year tenure at the Bureau. She has personally witnessed the blowback the Intelligence Community suffered due to the most significant compromises in U.S. history, including the arrests of former CIA Case Officer Aldrich Ames and two of the Bureau's own - FBI Agents Earl Pitts and Robert Hansen. She has spent 20 years in the U.S. Intelligence Community.
Skye is a member of the Maryland Writer’s Association, Romance Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. She’s addicted to writing and chocolate - not necessarily in that order - and currently lives in the Washington D.C. area with her son. Skye is hard at work on several projects, including the next installment of the series.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a Kindle Fire HD7 and a $25 Amazon gift card (US only) OR a $25 Amazon gift card (international).