It's my pleasure to welcome contemporary romantic suspense author, Kylie Brant back to The Romance Dish! It's been almost twenty years since Kylie's first book was published and, in that time, she's written twenty-five romantic suspense novels for Silhouette Intimate Moments and five romantic suspense novels for Berkley. That's a lot of good reading for those of us who enjoy romantic suspense thrillers! When she's not writing, Kylie is a busy special education teacher who also enjoys traveling, reading, flower gardening and, believe it or not, exercising! She's also a regular blogger at the multi-author blog, Riding With the Top Down. You can find more information about Kylie and her books at her website and connect with her at facebook and myspace. Please welcome Kylie as she talks about the fourth book in her Mindhunters series, DEADLY INTENT, an intensely emotional and suspense-filled thriller that kept me awake reading long past midnight!
by Kylie Brant
Thanks so much, Dishers, for having me back on the blog to discuss my newest release, DEADLY INTENT! I was thrilled and excited when my editor asked for three more Mindhunters books. DEADLY INTENT is book 4 and continues to follow investigators for Raiker’s Forensics as they consult with law enforcement on urgent high profile crimes.
And it doesn’t come more urgent than a child kidnapping.
I was a bit squeamish about telling this story, despite its insistent demand in my imagination. Readers don’t like books about children in danger, I told myself. They aren’t going to want to hear about the trauma eleven-year-old Ellie Mulder has encountered in her short life. Sure I write dark romantic suspense, but how dark is too dark? I toyed with going in a different direction with it. Changing it completely. But the character of Ellie wouldn’t let me. She insisted on being heard.
This is the first time in thirty books that a secondary character has taken over like that. I’ve had minor skirmishes with a hero or heroine who wanted to dictate their storyline along the way. Usually we work out a compromise. But Ellie is too young to have learned the art of give and take. So with a lot of self-doubt and trepidation, I began to write this story. And fell a little more in love with it with every chapter.
Ellie wasn’t the only one who revealed a stubborn streak as I wrote the story. The heroine, Macy Reid, didn’t turn out to be the quiet unassuming character I had first thought either. Turns out she’s used to being underestimated. People meeting her for the first time are charmed by her quiet competent air and faint British accent. They don’t see the strength beneath. They don’t suspect the sort of trauma in her past that has forged it.
Kellan Burke comes head to head with that strength over the course of the story. He hasn’t been able to get their one-night stand six months ago out of his head. It might be pride—he’s used to female attention, after all—but he hasn’t been able to forget her. The investigation requires them to work closely together, and being a multi-tasker, he’s more than up to the challenge of working the case and working to shred Macy’s defenses at the same time. Except that the more he learns of the woman the more intrigued he becomes. He wants to protect her at all costs, but learns that a person can’t be protected from their past. They can only be supported as they confront it.
It occurs to me that if there’s one common theme running through this book, it’s the danger of underestimating people. Colorado Bureau of Investigation Assistant Director Calvin Whitman makes that mistake with Kell. He sees only the rogue wise-cracker and doesn’t recognize the keen mind beneath until it’s almost too late. Kell, in turn doesn’t immediately realize that Macy is far more than a delicate English rose born with a silver spoon.
And as for Ellie…no one suspects the sort of courage a young girl can exhibit when she’s already been to hell and back. Or how the chilling circumstances of her captivity can wind up bringing her a bit of closure…and healing.
Since I’m not a plotter, it goes without saying that I love to be surprised by developments in my stories. Ellie surprised me time and again! Do you like your characters to follow a predictable pattern of development or do you enjoy twists along the way? How have you been surprised by your favorite author’s story people?
Readers can read an excerpt of DEADLY INTENT on my site at http://kyliebrant.com/current_excerpts.html#intent
One randomly selected person leaving a comment today will win one of Kylie's books. You must have a U.S. or Canadian mailing address or live in a country where bookdepository.com mails in order to be eligible for this giveaway.