Thursday, March 3, 2011

Friday Friend Melissa Ohnoutka

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 -

The print copy will be out soon as well.

You can find me at: 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,


  1. I've just started reading FAITHFUL DECEPTIONS and I'm already hooked. Good job and excellent interview.

  2. GREAT BOOK!!! Great interview!! Gotta love Margie's classes! Here's to many sales, Melissa!

  3. Thanks so much Susan! Hooked is good! LOL Hope you enjoy the story! :)

  4. Tess, Thanks, girl! Hope those pesky "Sales Pixies" are listening. LOL Margie is awesome! I think it's time for another one of her classes. I always learn something new that makes my writing stronger. :)

  5. Hey Melissa! Was so great meeting you at last year's NOLA conference and I'm so happy for you!! Congrats! Sounds like a great story.

  6. Congrats on your release and what a great interview. Good luck with your sales, the book sounds good.

    I saw the movie Human Trafficking too.

  7. Great interview, Melissa! Loved Faithful Deceptions. Can't wait to read Target of Betrayal :)

  8. Good mornin' Missy!
    Excellent interview AND excellent excerpt from the book:)
    The topic you've chosen to write about is something that needs as much exposure as possible. What better way to present the horror of human trafficking, than in a tightly written work of fiction.
    Kudos to you for your outstanding work, and for the topic you chose to shed a powerful light on.

  9. Wonderful interview, Melissa!! BOTH stories sound intriguing!!Faithful Deceptions is definitely on my Kindle's TBR list! Good luck and congratulations!! ;-)

  10. Great interview Missy & Autumn!
    I can't wait to finish FD. Congratulations on your release. Here's to skyrocketing sales!


  11. Loved the excerpt! In fact, it totally hooked me, now I've got to get the book and find out what happens. :)

  12. Congrats Melissa!!! I cannot wait to pick this up!

  13. Congrats, Missy! Good people and great talents deserve success and you fit the bill on both counts. I'm passing this around to my reader friends who are always looking for new authors. May you hit the best seller's list.

  14. Missy,
    1) When I met you at an RWA meeting, I thought about how pretty you are. 2) When all agents at an RWA conference asked for your manuscript, I thought how gracious you are. 3) After reading FAITHFUL DECEPTIONS, I realize how talented you are. Wishing you a much deserved success!

  15. Congratluations, Melissa! Can't wait to read the next book!

  16. Hey Melissa & Autumn--really good interview! I really enjoyed FAITHFUL DECEPTIONS--one wild adrenaline filled ride! Looks like your next one will be, too :-)

  17. Hey Melissa!! I'm halfway thru the book and have a very hard time putting it down. I even take every chance to read it on my phone or kindle when I'm sitting in line somewhere!! I'm enjoying it so much and will definitely be reading your next books! Congratulations to you!!

  18. Congrats Melissa! I knew you had the talent : - )


  19. A HUGE thank you to all of you for stopping by! Your support and encouragement means more than you'll ever know. I'm sitting here reading all these wonderful comments, thinking how lucky I am to share this bumpy journey with such great friends. As I've said before, YOU ROCK! :)Wishing you all the VERY Best!!

  20. Hi, Melissa! Great interview. Congrats on the debut sounds very Happy sales.

  21. Terrific interview, Melissa!

    FAITHFUL DECEPTIONS is a terrific read; Melissa cranks up the suspense from Page One, and it never lets up. There's a character in it named Rodney that would make Hannibal Lecter cross the street. I give it Five Stars.

  22. Thanks, Anna! Great to see you here. :) I think I've got the suspense part down. My mom keeps asking me if something happened when I was little that she doesn't know about. LOL

  23. Will!! Yeah! You made it! I'm so glad you tried again. LOL Rodney still scares me. Where did he come from anyway? Oh, now I remember. You get all the credit for making me dig deeper and drag that one to the surface, mister! :) You're one tough cookie! Thank you, for everything!

  24. A great read filled with crime and suspense leaving you rooting for the heroine. I am half way through your book and it has been a great escape from the every day mundane task of the ordinary day. The interview was also very insightful! To great one deserves it more!

  25. What an awesome day you had here, Melissa. Thank you to all for stopping by.

    Readers, if you stop by over the weekend, I will let Melissa know, so please leave a comment.

    Also, if I may, I came home after a very long day at hospital and found out that Evil's Witness is up for 2010 Best Romantic Suspense at The Romance Reviews. I'd love to have your vote. Damn, I'm so excited. Here's the link:

    Thank you all so much, AJ

  26. Really enjoyed the book, Melissa and love your writing. A great excerpt and fun interview :)

  27. Thanks, Robin! :) I'm so glad you stopped by! Hope all is going wonderful with you!! Hugs!

  28. Autumn, thanks so much for having me. :) I've headed over to The Romance Reviews and cast my vote! Loved your story, girl!!

    *** The winner of Saturday's drawing and the the $10.00 Amazon Gift certificate is SHEILA. Since I don't have an email address here, please email me at and I'll get your prize to you. I'll pick again on Monday if I can't reach Sheila. ***

    Big Hugs to all!!


  29. Wow, that sounds like such an exciting story! Great interview!

  30. Thanks, Ari! Glad you stopped by! :)

  31. Wow! Melissa, your story sounds awesome! I can't wait to read it. :)

  32. Missy,
    Congratulations on Everything! I look so forward to reading all your work in the future, you inspired me to take time to read again. Hope to hear about your next work, soon!
    Judy Vela Guerra

  33. Thanks, Jamie! I'm so happy you stopped by and hope you enjoy the book. :)

  34. Judy! Girl, it's been forever! LOL It's great to hear from you. Thanks so much!! And I'll be sure to let you know when the next one comes out. :) Wishing you all the best!