Hi, Lila, let me start out by saying how great it is to be a guest on your blog today! Just a note to your readers, be sure to join in with any questions or comments you may have. One lucky commenter will win a $20.00 Amazon gift certificate at the end of my Sizzling PR Blog Tour.
Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?
Mal: Because I love to read romantic suspense, that's what I like to write. Gotta have that edge of the heart romance paired up with edge of the seat suspense. So I guess I chose it because it called to me. : )
Did you enjoy language arts in school? Did you have a teacher that particularly encouraged you to write?
Mal: Yes, English was always my favorite subject in school. And I think my high school English teacher who was in charge of the school newspaper encouraged me to write. At that time it was newspaper articles and short stories for the school paper. I later became editor of the school paper.
It’s five o’clock somewhere…Let’s have a drink! What cocktail best describes you and why?
Mal: So many authors are introverts. That's me, so I'm more like a quiet glass of wine.
You have a million dollars that you must donate to one charitable organization. Which one would you choose and why?
Mal: I dearly appreciate our law enforcers and our military troops, and I dedicated Shadow of Deceit to them. Every story I write has heroes who are either ex-military and/or are employed in the law enforcement field. That means the million would go to veterans. (If I could split it up, it would be divided between small local law enforcement agencies, veterans, and for education. So much money has been cut for education, and sooner or later that's going to lead to a big probmlem.
Do you have one of those pesky day jobs, or are you a full-time writer? If you do have another career what do you do and do you enjoy it?
Mal: I have my own landscape design business. And I do love it. It's a fun job, working with people to help them make their yards beautiful. And it's also creative like writing.
Due to the world we live in, most editors will tell a romance writer they have the moral obligation to protect their characters from scary life altering things, thereby being obligated to the reader. What are your thoughts on this? Do you protect your characters and how?
Mal: As writers, we're always told to beat up our characters, put them in danger, and then make it worse. That being said, we always give them the strength or help they need to get themselves out of trouble, and hopefully at the same time, make the reader fall in love with them. The protection comes in when we make them grow, learn from their mistakes, and of course, in a romance there's always a happy ending.
Romance has come a long, long way since Fabio graced the covers regularly…it seems the hinges are off the proverbial door. How far is too far in your mind? Are there things you simply won’t write?
Mal: Again, I write what I like to read, and that's spicy romantic suspense. My books are more R-rated than X. I like love scenes that are sensual and emotional. They can be hot and still tastefully done.
I’ve been asked, as has my husband, if we do “all that stuff in my stories.” Do you get asked this and if so how do you handle it?
Mal: I just smile, and give my husband "a look" and let the question go unanswered.
I had an editor early on that showed me the way…have you had anyone in particular that gave you a gentle **ahem** nudge in the right direction? How did they do that and how did you react?
Mal: A wonderful man who taught sessions at an area writer's conference critiqued one of the first complete manuscripts that my daughter and I wrote together. He pointed out things that needed to be edited, but was very encouraging. Also, my editor at The Wild Rose Press was great at finding little things I couldn't see in my own work. Editing always makes your work better.
Wine or beer? Wine
Satin or cotton? Satin
Fries or tots? Sweet potato fries
Cake or pie? pie
Steak or burgers? steak
Candle light or pitch dark? Candle light
Can an FBI agent obsessed with redemption and a grieving widow desperate to clear her husband’s name learn to believe in love again?
Shannon Riedel faces down danger when a gunman breaks into her office claiming her dead husband swindled him. When FBI agent Tony Crazaniak arrives to investigate, sexual heat sizzles. The ex-Delta Force operative’s massive presence and dark eyes trigger an attraction the young widow finds unnerving.
When Crazaniak convinces Shannon she needs his protection, they partner to unearth secrets her husband left behind—secrets involving a Tanzanian mine that yields perfect blue diamonds coveted by dealers around the world—secrets connected to a terrorist leader Crazanaik has vowed to take down.
With danger surrounding them, two emotionally wounded souls bond, but can they put their demons to rest and trust in love? Can they survive long enough to find out?
The gun Shannon came across at the bottom of a neatly folded stack of masculine attire on her bed shouldn’t have surprised her. She’d seen the agent’s Glock earlier.
Intrigued, she reached for the pistol, an object that seemed so out of place in her bedroom. As though she were familiar with handling firearms when she wasn’t, she wrapped her hand around the grip then jerked her head toward the bathroom door, conjuring up thriller fantasies.
But she didn’t have to conjure anything when she noticed a letter poking out of Crazaniak’s inside jacket pocket. Nor did she have to imagine the fact that the closet door stood slightly ajar. Her stomach clenched, a mix of anger and unease. Had the FBI agent been nosing through Tyler’s belongings?
Tit for tat—the urge to sneak a peak overwhelmed her. Her heartbeat ratcheted up as she shifted the gun to her left hand and reached for the letter.
At that instant, she sensed a presence behind her. Even as the sound of water pounded the walls of the tub enclosure, Shannon knew in her heart of hearts that six foot-plus of dripping wet, naked man stood not relaxing under the water jets, but hovering five heart-palpitating feet away.
“Want to toss me my clothes?” he asked.
Unwilling to face him, she remained quick-frozen like a pillar of ice.
“Tell me you weren’t snooping in my things,” he rumbled.
“Tell me you weren’t snooping in my closet.”
“ I wasn’t snooping.”
She eyed the edge of the letter. “I thought I’d treat your duds to some suds. You want to hang out in my robe for a few?”
“Not enough material there to cover my manly attributes. I’ll settle for day-old Jockeys, and what the hell were you doing with my pistol?”
“Nothing.” She almost turned around.
Her chest thumped. The thought of Crazaniak au natural not only spiked her pulse, it titillated her imagination. She waited for a chord of guilt to strum across her heart. It didn’t happen. Instead, discord fluttered low in her abdomen, and she sensed him moving closer.
Mal Olson writes adrenaline-kicked romantic suspense. When her consuming passion for writing allows time, she enjoys reading, flower gardening, jamming with friends on the mountain dulcimer, and hiking in a nearby state forest (or in the mountains somewhere). She has three grown children and one granddaughter and resides with her own special hero in southeast Wisconsin where she juggles writing time with her freelance landscape design business.