My bestest friend, co-writer and mentor, the superbly talented author D.C. Stone, had her fourth book published by Evernight on June 11. I’ve had the privilege of following all her efforts from the start and learning a ton about the publishing world in the process.
Way to go, sis – I’m so happy for you!
When FBI agent Trent Rossi arrives to investigate a chain of crimes—devastating murders and violent rapes—an inexperienced small town Detective, Charlie, who’s assigned to assist, finds her desire surging for the agent—only to realize he is the primary suspect.
A sleeping threat has awakened in the small town of Nyack. Crimes in the cozy village, garner the attention of the FBI, who assign two agents to assist Charlie in tracking down the sick and deranged perpetrator. Agents Trent Rossi and Dillon Echols work closely with Charlie, but as the crimes progress, dark secrets begin to cloud the air, blurring the line between who is on the side of the law and who’s against it. Being Charlie’s first major case, she’s unprepared not only for the menacing killer on the loose, but also with the unexpected feelings Trent draws out of her.
While Trent holds secrets, disappears at random, and seems to understand their perpetrator all-too-well, Charlie’s suspicions grow along with the pull she feels toward him. Her attraction could become fatal, yet she does not realize it until it is too late.
Jesus, he should be looking for this Detective Lopez, but his body screamed for this woman. He fought the urge to fidget, cursed the hours he had been working, unable to get any kind of companionship. He would have to work quick and then find Charlie. “I’m Agent Rossi with the FBI.” He leaned against the desk, gave her the look that had gotten him into pants faster than any of his college buddies, and held out a hand. She looked at his palm as if it were a serpent ready to strike.
“And? How can I help you, Agent Rossi?” She rose from her chair and crossed her arms under her breasts. He tried—and failed—to ignore how the movement pushed her plentiful mounds up toward her chin.
He pulled his hand back and ran it through his hair.
Bad move! The stench coming from under his arm made him wince.
“Look, I know you probably have things to do,” he said.
She nodded, brows lifted to her hairline, as if saying “no shit.” He went on, “But I do need to find Detective Lopez. You’d be a real sweetheart if you could point me in his direction. I’m here on a case and I don’t know…maybe after I’m done briefing him, you’d like to have dinner with me? That is, if you’re not busy?”
The contortion of her brows twisted before a sly smile spread.
“You’re looking for Charlie, huh?”
Someone groaned, and Trent glared over his shoulder, perplexed. The heavyset guy in need of Tide shook his head and looked away. Irritated at the interruption and apparent lack of man code, Trent turned his attention back to the cute little female.
He nodded. “Yeah.”
The woman shifted and sat in the chair with purposeful, slow movements. She set one foot on the desk, crossed a long leg over the other. Each action played out in slow motion through his lust-filled brain. He shifted, his focus glued to the smooth expanse of a jean-covered thigh, and stepped closer.
Hummidy, hummidy, hummidy.
“And why is it you need Charlie?” The woman ran a hand up the outside of her leg and his attention followed it. His mouth went dry.
“Umm, a case.”
“Yeah.” When silence met him, he realized what was happening. You didn’t have to go through interrogation and interview classes in order to figure it out. He was being led. His gaze snapped to hers, except this time, her face did not look friendly. If the hardening of her mouth was any indication, she looked pissed. And he’d been totally caught just checking her out.
Resigned, he let out a breath.
“Yeah, a case. Look, I’m sorry for all—” He waved a hand between them. “This. Could you just point me in the direction of Detective Lopez?”
Her hard mouth softened and she stood from her chair again, lips turning up at the corners. Leaning in to him, her scent surrounded him and he got a whiff of coconut.
His gaze tracked along her face, and dropped to her shirt, which parted as she leaned forward. He about choked as he tried to swallow, his mouth dry as the Arizona desert.
“Well, Agent Rossi.”
Lean forward a little more, please.
“If you could stop staring at my tits for all of two seconds, then I’ll tell where you can find Detective Lopez.”
The noisemaker behind him let out a strangled cough.
He snapped his regard up to hers. Hazel eyes blared with anger. Crap.
“Shit, I’m sorry. Seriously, it has been a long damn day. If you’d just tell me where he is, Miss?” He raised his brows, wanting her name. Good Lord, he wanted her name.
She smiled sweet, the transformation of her face a thing of beauty. “It’s Detective.”
He raised a brow, a sick feeling creeping up his spine. “Detective?” he croaked.
The smile spread to her eyes. “Yes, and to not only help you, but to also answer your question, it’s Detective Lopez. How can I help you, Agent Rossi?”
The noisemaker behind him snorted out a laugh.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
D.C. Stone is a romance author and full-time fraud investigator. She lives in the north-east with her incredibly supporting husband and two kids. She’ll deny any association with the grumpy cat that also resides in the house, but he is there, never-the-less.
After serving eight years of service with the United States Air Force, she went on to transition into the world of financial crimes and became a lead investigator for many years.
Reading has always been a passion of hers, getting lost in a good, steamy romance is one of her favorite past times. She soon after discovered her own love for writing and recreating stories and characters in her head. Her writing concentrates on romantic with specifics in paranormal, suspense and erotica.
Now, when she isn’t trying to solve a new puzzle in the world of fraud, she is engulfed with coffee, her laptop, and all those crazy characters in her head. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, New Jersey Romance Writers, RomVets, RWA Kiss of Death, and the Liberty State Fiction Writers. She currently serves as the Vice President and 2014 Conference Chair for NJRW. Come stop by on Facebook, Twitter, or her website and say hello!
For a chance to win an ecopy of Intimate Danger, answer the following question in the comment section – don’t forget to leave your email addy!
“If you caught a stranger in your bedroom with his hands in your lingerie drawer, what would you do?”
INTERVIEW WITH THE PERPETRATOR:
Lea Bronsen: As a writer of noirish crime, suspense and thriller, I tend to be more interested in the dark side of a book than the usual superhero/heroine fighting for justice, chasing love, and going on impossible missions to save the world.
For some reason a shrink would no doubt like to take a closer look at, criminals intrigue me. The more perverted, deviant, and dangerous they are, the more I am drawn, like a tick to blood. I want to understand them and learn to know who they are inside, what has forged them, how their needs were developed, how the mechanisms of their minds work, and how far they are willing to push their luck in a never-ending hunt to sate their urges…
Early on, the perpetrator in ‘Intimate Danger’ caught my interest, and Ms. Stone did such a fine job in conveying his twisted perspective, I had to ask to meet him. By means and at a location I have promised not to share with our readers, I’ve been granted the most incredible opportunity to speak with him for a few minutes. So here goes…
The mysterious guy sits in the shadow of a corner, his features almost invisible. A pair of disturbingly sharp eyes reflecting low light from the adjacent room sets on me in a quiet, scrutinizing gaze.
“Hi,” I start, and clear my throat.
Why should I be impressed? There have been reports of strange noises, an unexplainable presence, missing lingerie… nothing truly menacing, right?
He gives no reaction, not even a small nod of acknowledgement.
“Thank you for agreeing to talk to me,” I continue. “I understand you prefer to stay anonymous. A great number of people out there finds you utterly fascinating, and since little about you is revealed in the book, I’m going to ask a few private questions. I hope that’s okay with you.”
He blinks once, slowly, his chest heaving.
I tap on my notepad. “All right. First off, how was your childhood, how would you describe yourself as a child, and how was growing up as a teenager?”
He shifts back in the seat and crosses his arms. “I would say my childhood was fine, more than fine. Perfectly actually. I really don’t see the fascination with how I was as a child. Would this be a question you’re comfortable with? Perhaps we should talk about how you think my childhood was, hmmmm?”
His cold scrutiny roams from my shoulders and chest to the clenched hands in my lap, as if undressing me layer by layer, baring me. A shiver runs up my spine, but I won’t let him destabilize me.
“Well,” I reply. “How about your relationship to the girls and women of your family? Did you have a favorite one, and if so, what was special about her?”
“My mother was the only woman I needed. She’s a saint.” He pauses and shifts almost uncomfortably. “She had the body of a goddess and the mind of an angel. Really, there’s nothing more to tell.”
“The body of a goddess?” I repeat with a low voice, nodding. He’s giving me what I want. Forbidden images flash before my eyes, but the hardening of his look tells me not to delve into the matter. “And her relationship to your father? How would you characterize their dynamics?”
“My father wasn’t around. There were men.” He tightens his mouth. “Lots of men, but mostly there was just my mother and myself.”
The mother again. I’m bombarded with questions worthy of Freud’s admiration, but Ms. Stone warned me to tread carefully.
With a glance at my notepad, I suppress my curiosity and move on to the next question. “How do you see women in general? As equal individuals with equal rights, mere objects of sexual interest, or do you easily fall in love and want them to feel the same about you?”
“Women are just as intriguing as a man could be. There’s nothing that makes them stand out to me. Sure, love could come. And sure, the ladies are more than a handful at times. But I really prefer the more…secretive musings of what a woman has to offer, if you catch my drift.”
I do, I do. That is precisely why we are here. Which leads me to the next subject, a revealing one at that, if he chooses to reply truthfully.
Eyeing him, I deliver the bomb. “Do you believe some women deserve to be punished?”
“I don’t think women deserve to be punished, per se. Just sometimes,” he says and trails off, trying to think about how to properly word his response. “Sometimes things happen that allow the inevitable. There’s nothing that can be done to stop it.”
I guess not, which makes it all that more intriguing…
On to another subject. “Do you enjoy giving a woman sexual pleasure, or do you prefer that she pleases you?”
“What is it with your fascination with women and me?” He huffs and rolls his eyes to the ceiling. “If I must answer, and from the time I would have to spend elsewhere, I think I do, I would say that a woman giving me sexual pleasure is nothing like what you can imagine.”
“Have you ever bought or considered buying women’s lingerie for yourself?”
“I think lingerie on a woman or man could have its intended effects.” He shrugs.
“When you do that thing of yours, peeping on women in their own home, what do you find the most arousing? The fabric, scent, look etc. of their lingerie? The fact that the clothes were worn by females? Stealing someone’s personal belongings? Knowing you’re smart enough to get away with it? Or is it knowing the women are so close you could reach out and touch them?”
My heart beats a little faster. I know I’m getting nearer.
He raises his hands to settle down the questions and then gives a sly glance at Lea. He can’t quite figure out what she’s after, or if she’s just as excited at the prospect of discovering as he is. “Like I’ve said, women’s underthings could be used for either sex in a matter of various situations.” He leans forward and rests his forearms on the table, ignoring the clink of silver. “Have you ever felt the brush of silk against your skin and not shivered? Or the feel of lace scratching across your breast and not gone damp? Have you ever adorned another’s clothing and wondered if your parts are matching up as theirs were in the same cloth? If you haven’t, I tell you, you’re missing out.”
His sudden closeness, for the first time revealing a strong, manly face in the light, just about unbalances me. Not to mention his insinuations and the low, almost sweet tone of his voice. Damn him. The only way to escape his hold is to remind myself I’m the one asking the questions, not the other way around.
“Right. So what do you do with the lingerie you bring home? Wear them, sleep with them, or keep them in a special drawer?”
He tilts his head, considering her, wondering just what might have happened had he not been stopped. Brushing the thought aside he says, “Each treasure gifted to me was kept as obtained. Cherished as needed, and handled with care.”
I give a faint nod, measuring the poetry of his words. I shouldn’t be surprised. It has been proven; deviant minds can have a high level of perception and sensitivity and be acutely intelligent. It must be very lonely, though. “Do you have an accomplice? Have you ever told anyone about your lingerie fetishism?”
He shakes his head. “Mm hmm, right. No accomplice, but yes, my mother knew my preferences well. And no,” he says and lifts a hand, “I will not tell you more on that subject.”
I shrug. We can all easily imagine the things he’s not willing to tell. I glance at my notepad and underline the next question. “Do you consider yourself a normal person? Is there even such a thing as a ‘normal person?”
“I do think, Ms. Bronsen, you answered that question yourself, did you not?”
I may have, but I wanted him to develop that idea a little for me. Well, on to the next. “If you could have anything you wanted, right now, what would it be?”
“Freedom to be who I want to be.”
…But who exactly does he want to be? From the glow of perversion in his eyes, I’m not sure I should ask. Let’s try a different approach. “And how would you describe yourself with a few words?”
He tilts his head. “Interesting is about the only thing I would say.”
Hard to argue with that… I nod. “Okay, and lastly, what would be a life accomplishment for you?”
He eyes her over the table and fights the desire to stretch across and feel the skin of her neck under his palms. He answers truthfully, and from the heart. “Getting away with it.”
Aaaaah… I stare in awe, ignoring the crawling feel of his gleaming eyes on my skin. He did it. Gave me the punch line I was hoping for. “Thank you, um, mister…”
He leans back into the shadow again, his eyes the sole dots of luminosity in the dark corner. A tap on the open door behind me says my time is up. And so I’m up, on shaking legs and with my traitorous heart beating slightly out of tune.