Today, I’m so excited to welcome my good friend Melissa Ohnoutka who just published her debut novel Faithful Deceptions. Melissa and I met a number of years ago during a Margie Lawson class and the rest is friendship history. You’re going to love her, and I’m sure anxious to hear more about her journey and Faithful Deceptions. Grab a glass of champagne, welcome her and remember to leave a comment. Melissa is giving away a prize.
Melissa, Can you tell my readers a little about yourself? I know you love camping and hosting sleepovers for your children’s friends. How do you find time to write?
First, thanks for having me! I can't believe how long it's been since Margie's class. This first one is a great question. Time is the one thing I wish I could manage better. I'm not very organized and seem to be happiest when I've got several things going on at once. The writing comes in spurts. I'll have two good weeks of great productivity where everything falls into place and then nothing. I think this is why I love participating in NANOWRIMO. (National Novel Writing Month) It helps me realize that even with birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping, I can find the time needed to write if I just focus. And the writing without rules and worrying about editing is so awesome!
BLURP for Faithful Deceptions:
Money dictates the rules of this game and the victim could be anybody— regardless of sex, age, or race.
When high-end antiques dealer, Hailey Devlin, discovers her business partner's boyfriend has bankrupted their company, she sets out to expose the thief. Unknown to Hailey, her target is involved in a brutal trafficking ring where human lives are sold off to the highest bidder and she fits the next customer's order perfectly. She awakens to a world she can't remember. An alluring man claims to be her husband-a man who seems both to want and reject her. Is this amnesia or something much more sinister?
ICE Agent Patrick Roark jumped at the chance to put his training to the test on an elite human trafficking squad of Homeland Security. Undercover as the bodyguard to the ring leader, and key suspect in a murder case, proves more than he bargained for. Masterminding a clever deception, he's determined to keep the next victim safe—even if the high-stakes operation costs him everything-including his heart. Can they survive a killer's wrath? And if they do, will the lies be too damaging for their love to endure?
AJ: Faithful Deceptions sounds like an intriguing romantic suspense. Can you tell us more about the story? What inspired it? And are there any story elements based on real life experiences?
Inspiration…let's see. This book is actually my third romantic suspense. I was working on another story when a miniseries on Lifetime called "Human Trafficking" aired back in 2005, starring Mira Sorvino and Donald Sutherland. Something clicked on in my brain as I watched the movie. I sat down when it was over to write out a quick outline of the story bouncing around in my head. Once I started, I couldn't stop. The other story was put on hold until I finished Faithful Deceptions. And to answer the second part of the question: Thank goodness there are no real life experiences to draw on with this one. LOL
AJ: Did you have to do special research for the story?
I researched a lot about the human trafficking, mainly for my own knowledge on the subject. I don't go into great detail about it in the book. It's a horrifying reality.
AJ: What do you love about your heroine and hero?
I feel like my heroine and hero are really well matched in this story. They both have a lot to learn about dealing with their guilt and anger, and more importantly forgiveness. I enjoyed watching their characters develop over the span of the story.
AJ: Will we see another story from you soon? And can you give us a hint of what it’s about?
Yes, I'm working on edits for my next release right now. Target of Betrayal is the first book I completed and I'm hoping to have it ready for this summer. I believe this is the one you helped me on during Margie's class. Here's a short blurb:
Kathleen Landon thought her life would finally get back to normal after the bizarre death of her husband. But a "chance" meeting with an old boyfriend throws her and her family on a dangerous and emotional journey full of secrets and betrayal. Her husband's death wasn't an accident, but an attempt to cover up a horrendous crime spree being operated by a traitor inside the FBI. Now she and her children are running from a cold-blooded killer. Can she trust the U.S. Marshal sworn to protect them. Or is he using her as bait to capture her husband's killer?
AJ: Would you share an excerpt of Faithful Deceptions?
Excerpt from Faithful Deceptions
“Hailey. Open your eyes, sweetheart.”
A burning sensation ripped through her insides. Where am I? Why is it so dark?
Precious seconds passed as she tried the simple action of just swallowing. Why couldn’t' she move, speak?
And oh, the pain.
No matter how hard she tried, Hailey's efforts to focus and lift her eyelids fell short. It felt as if she was being pulled though an opening much too small. Jagged pieces, pointed, razor sharp, scraping and cutting at her tender flesh as she tried to regain consciousness.
Oh, no. What’s happening to me?
Death’s icy fingers laced around her heart as the empty void expanded further and tormented her soul. A part of her wanted to quit, to give in and find the peace she knew was just beyond her reach. But somewhere, somewhere deep within, the will to live grew stronger. Wouldn't let her cross over.
In the deep recesses of her mind, a glimmer of hope flickered. Someone was calling her name. She could hear them, sense their presence. But they sounded so far away. Their voice drifted in and out, the way the ocean flows beyond all boundaries of time and space on a solitary seashore.
Oh, dear God. Why couldn't she think straight?
I’m here. I can hear you. Alarm spread over her as she tried to lift a finger to alert them she was still alive. Not one tiny muscle even flinched. She may be able to hear them, but the person made no indication they knew of her receptiveness.
This isn’t happening, she thought, feeling her chest rise and fall with rapid repetitions. Don’t panic. Not yet.
Focus already. Just focus.
AJ: And where can we find you on the web? And can you share buy links for Faithful Deceptions?
Right now "Faithful Deceptions" is available at
Barnes & Noble - http://productsearch.barnesandnoble.com/search/results.aspx?WRD=faithful+deceptions&page=index&prod=univ&choice=allproducts&query=faithful+deceptions&flag=False&ugrp=2
The print copy will be out soon as well.
You can find me at:
www.everybodyneedsalittleromance.com on Mondays
Thanks again for having me, AJ! It's been great fun! I'm giving away a $10.00 Amazon gift certificate Saturday morning for one lucky commenter! So please leave your name and email address when you comment so I can get it to you if your name is drawn.
Best wishes to all,