1) You’re marooned on a small island with one person and one item of your choice—who is that person and what item do you have?
A freezer loaded with Ben and Jerry’s (an assortment but strawberry cheesecake at a minimum) and Henry Cavill because…well, do I really need to explain? Actually I would be good with a MacBook. A MacBook and Henry Cavill because I can’t live without writing. I can live without Ben and Jerry’s…even though I won’t be happy about it.
2) Which musical would you say best exemplifies your life – and which character in that musical are you?
My Fair Lady and Eliza Doolitle. I selected this musical because I have really evolved a lot as a woman,
3) Take these three words and give me a 100 word or less scenario using them: night, union, minute
Liza’s bare, honey-colored back collapsed against the pillow, her skin drenched in his perspiration and her thoughts equally soaked in disappointment. She listened as he struggled to catch his breath, her eyebrows furled in confusion at the notion that his thirsty dog panting had resulted from a union that had lasted just short of a minute. Smothering him with goose-filled mound of fluff behind her back during the blackness of night seemed a better far better option than looking at his sorry mug in the light of dawn.
4) You’ve just been let loose in the world of fiction, with permission to make love to anyone you want. Who do you choose and why?
Oh my! Who would I choose? Hmmm…maybe Jack Reacher because I love tall men and he’s like 6’3” and a badass. I like badasses. Not the Tom Cruise version though…although if Tom were a few inches taller I might consider him as well.
5) What is your idea of how to spend romantic time with your significant other?
Honestly, I’m the kind of girl who just like to chill, eat pizza and watch movies and sports (see #2). The more comfortable I am and the better the conversation, the more romantic I feel. I’ve just come to realize I’m a bit of a nerd magnet. I don’t like fake scenes and I’m not keen on non-jewelry related surprises. The more we can enjoy an evening according to the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid), the more romantic it will be for me.
6) When you start a new story, do you begin with a character, or a plot?
I always begin with the characters. In this J.J. McCall series, the first thing that came to me was the character’s name. It was only after weeks of thought that I came up with the idea to model the character after one of the agents I worked with at the FBI. The name J.J. McCall just sounded like it belonged to a no-nonsense badass woman who gets the job done, and that’s really what she turned out to be…even though she has her softer side when it comes to the love triangle and her relationship with Tony Donato. In every book I’ve written, I hear the voices first and then basically I follow them in my thoughts and transcribe.
7) If they were to make the story of your life into a movie, who should play you?
This is a tough one. I don’t know if there’s a woman out there who can pull off the quasi-schizophrenic
8) Who’s your favorite horror villain and why?
This is a trick question because horror is the one genre I don’t watch or read. The last one I saw was in the 90s when Jason and Freddy were popular. If I had to choose one of them, I’d have to go with Freddy. He had a lot more personality. And there’s nothing better than having a psychotic killer deliver a comedic line before he slashes your throat. What’s not to love about that?
9) Do you have an historical crush and if so, who is it?
I would have to say the Kennedys, especially JFK. Again, I’ve always been attracted to badasses (see #4) and he was a political badass at a critical time in U.S. history. As a former intelligence analyst in the Russian program, outmaneuvering Khrushchev during the Cuban missile crisis was pretty darn impressive.
10) Is there a story that you’d like to tell but you think the world isn’t ready to receive it?
J.J. McCall is THE story I decided to write but that I’m not sure the world is ready to receive. It has everything in the world going against it because it’s unfamiliar territory and features unfamiliar characters all around.
I mean, we start with a non-traditional lead character—an African American female FBI agent targeting Russian spies—and her father is former Black Panther, of all things. And she has a superpower of sorts in that she’s a human lie detector.
Her love interest’s family is part of the Italian Mob “royal family” and he’s done the unthinkable in becoming an FBI agent. Then you have an African American male, Grayson “Six” Chance, as a CIA case officer. When’s the last time you saw that kind of character in a book or movie? Then you have this melting pot of secondary Caucasian Americans, African Americans, Russians and Russian Americans, Italian Americans cast in the spy/mob/romance/action/suspense/mystery novel. It doesn’t fit neatly into anyone’s category. It’s not a white book or an African American book. It’s a spy thriller but not only a spy thriller. It’s a romance, but not only a romance. It’s got humor, but not only humor. It’s got suspense and mystery…but, well you get the drift. Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and wonder what in the world I was smoking when I came up with this idea. I mean, I could’ve easily gone with a simple romance and it probably would’ve found a wider audience. Sometimes women are afraid to read it because they think it’ll be too manly…and men are afraid to read it because they think it’ll be too girly. But no one would believe it’s the perfect balance of both—and men have actually been the most faithful readers of the series.
At the end of the day, I cannot even begin to express how proud I am of this character, these stories, and how incredibly fun they are to write. I can only hope my energy and enthusiasm for the characters and stories bleed through every word on the page and the readers get hooked.
Son of a Itch
by S. D. Skye
On the lam from the FBI, the ICE PHANTOM continues with plans to defect to Moscow but not before seeking revenge on J.J. McCall. Meanwhile, the FBI commences Task Force PHANTOM HUNTER, a team ordered by Director Russell Freeman to track down suspected Russian illegals within the U.S. Intelligence Community—and not a moment too soon. An agent of the Russian Intelligence Services is targeting the nerve center of U.S. national security, taking the lie-detecting FBI Agent and her cohorts’ next mole hunt to the highest echelons of the U.S. government.
J.J. and her co-case agent lead the motley crew of spy catchers while she struggles to deal with sobriety, conflicting feelings for Tony and Six, and an egotistical Secret Service agent whose jurisdictional stonewalling complicates her every effort to identify the culprit before he gets away—with murder.
Exactly three moments defined the entire course of J.J.’s being —the day she got “the itch,” the generational curse that sparked random irritating tingles through her body anytime she heard a lie; the day her mother died; and this one, the day in which she grasped the fragility of life and how it could slip away in an instant.
The ambulance siren blared down Pennsylvania Avenue through the remnants of rush hour traffic as she stared down at his tearful eyes, his face shredded with pain, his body curled with anguish. Slowly, his lids opened to expose a bloodshot blank stare. She saw her mother’s eyes in his, and his last breath whispered in the distance, drawing ever near.
“I’m here. You’re going to be okay. We’re almost there,” she said as her voice shook.
George Washington University Hospital was just a few minutes away and had one of the best trauma centers in the D.C. area.
He placed his trembling hand on hers and struggled to speak. “There…something…you should…kn—”
“Shhhh. Save your strength,” J.J. shook her head to dissuade him from speaking. She stroked his fingers and tried to maintain a steady front. “You’re gonna be okay. You can tell me everything when you’re better.”
Her mind whirred as the ambulance zipped into the circular driveway beneath the overhang and masked emergency personnel in blue and green scrubs swarmed the doors. They pulled the gurney out and wheeling him inside, beyond her view. She’d never felt so alone in her life. She had calls to make, people to notify, but her mind was still foggy from the shock.
She searched her purse for the flask, the reminder of just how far she’d come and how much further she had to go.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
S.D. Skye is a former FBI Russian Counterintelligence Program Intelligence Analyst and supported two major programs 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 Robert Hanssen. She spent 20+ years supporting military and intelligence missions in the U.S. Intelligence Community.
Skye, an award winning author, is a member of the Maryland Writer’s Association, Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, 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 this exciting series.
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