Tell us a little about The Eyewitness.
The Eyewitness is the first book in a new series. I explored the world of forensic science in this story. My heroine, Emersyn D’Azzo is right out of grad school and starting her first job at the state police forensic lap. But tragedy strikes [no spoilers here] and plans change. The one man who may be able to help her work through the trauma is Alec Pearce, her father’s younger, sexy partner. Emersyn and Alec have a nasty history and he’s the last person she would trust—until there is no other option.
The suspense element in The Eyewitness was inspired from a page out of the tragic sniper shootings in Maryland in 2002, The Beltway Snipers. My villains—the way all three series are connected—copy-cat on that event. Here is a short blurb:
Fans of TV’s Blue Bloods will love this dynamic new suspense series.
Maryland PD forensic scientist Emersyn D’Azzo has an explosive past with her father’s younger, sexy partner, Detective Alec Pearce. Then an ill-timed kiss destroys the thin line of trust between her and her dad, just before tragedy strikes and someone guns down her father.
The fatal bullet turns out to be tied to the ongoing spree of random sniper kills across the state, but Emersyn knows this wasn’t a random act of violence and is determined to find the killer.
To do so, she’ll need to rely on help from Alec, whom she doesn’t quite trust but just can’t resist. When they discover a connection to a decades-old disappearance of a college student, their investigation takes a deadly twist. Can they learn to trust each other with their hearts to save their lives?
If The Eyewitness was made into a movie, who would play your main characters, and why?
Boy, what a thought. From this interview to a great screenwriter’s laptop. I think for Emersyn I would love to see someone like Nicole Gale Anderson. I loved her in CW’s Beauty and the Beast. Alec Pearce is a complex character, wears his rage over ‘the tragedy’ mentioned above like a second skin. I think someone like Robert Patrick "Robbie" Amell or maybe Steven Amell would make a great Alec. Robbie was Ronnie in the The Flash. I miss that character. And then there is Steven, his cousin. The way Steven plays Oliver Queen in Arrow is freaking amazing.
How is this book related to your Shadow and Light series?
I decided to keep my characters in the same world as the Shadow and Light series for one reason– it’s so hard letting go of my sexy, amazing McNeil brothers. One or two of them may just find time to pop into this new series.
Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
My ideal reader is someone who loves suspense, mystery, and romance, but a wonderful happy ending. My stories revolve around family, usually a big, loud opinionated, but loving family. Some of my readers will love the romance, the journey my characters take to find love, something we all want in our life. But other readers will love the suspense element, and enjoy the ride I give them. It starts in chapter one and doesn’t let up until the very end. I twist things around in such a way that hopefully nobody can figure out how my hero and heroine will ever come together until I’m ready for them to experience their well deserved happy-ever-after.
Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
Very interesting question. For The Eyewitness, I have to choose Joe D’Azzo. While the story is Emersyn’s, Joe had such an overwhelming impact on her every move. In fact, every member of the D’Azzo family of characters was influenced by the kind of man he is: Emersyn, his daughter, Alec, his partner, Grace, his wife of thirty-five years, and even Oliver Gates, his boss. What will be interesting to see if he has that same effect in the next two books in this series. I’m writing Emersyn’s sister, Tessa’s story now. And yes, he’s right there with her.
How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
My least favorite character, or in this case, characters are my villains. I’m trying so hard not to reveal too much here. The common denominator is their moral compass is set by their needs above all. There may be an ounce of goodness in one of the villains. But I think my readers will determine it is only visible when it benefits him.
Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
My cover was designed by the art department at Crimson Romance. I love it! The woman on the cover was just how I imagined my heroine, Emersyn.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I believe I can be mentored by almost any writer. Just yesterday, I sat down with a new author. Andy G wanted to share his excitement about his first novel. He has only been writing for a few months. As it turned out, I walked away from that meeting with a whole new outlook on my work in progress. It would be a dream come true to sit down with my favorites like Nora Roberts, Kat Martin, Jennifer Crusie, Julie Garwood---or the list is a mile long. But then again, Andy G passed along the best advice about writing I have heard in a long time.
Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
Hummmmm, unique…well, my kids would say my super power is I make a mean cookie—and chocolate cake. Since this question hit something ‘underneath the skin’, I’ll share that too. If I have a unique talent, it’s being able to put myself into others’ shoes. I see the best in people and expect their best---and in turn, get it back tenfold, especially in children and young adults.
Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?
Just write. That’s the biggest hurdle. Seek out workshops and conferences in your genre where you can really develop your craft. The publishing world isn’t always a nice place. Rejection is real, hard to deal with, but part of the dream. Don’t allow it to stop you in your tracks. Stay persistent, committed. When you are ready to jump into the pool, feel free to seek me out. I’ll hold your hand through it like so many authors held mine. Here is what I had taped to my laptop. Improve. Develop a thick skin. Write through it all.
What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Sharing is caring! I won’t ask you for a review, but I really need one. If you love a book, tell a friend and then take a moment to post a review where you purchased the book. Reviews don’t have to be elaborate. Just a short sentence has so much value.
Also, I just launched a new closed group on Facebook called Nancy’s Corner. It’s a place where readers who enjoy romantic suspense can have a weekly personal relationship with me. I encourage them to drop in and invite their friends who they think might like my books. It’s a page where if you just would like a happy thought sent your way or a prayer, then that’s what we’ll all do for you. Any promotional giveaways, Advance Reader’s copies of my books, this group gets first dibs.
I can’t thank you enough for inviting me here today. I loved your questions…and I hope your readers will enjoy reading my responses. I can’t leave without sharing my GIVEAWAY.My simple pleasure is sipping my favorite coffee while reading a great book. I’m passing that on to you. Answer the question below for a chance to win a digital book from my backlist—including The Eyewitness, and winner’s choice of a $5 Starbucks or Teavana tea gift card.
Question: It’s so simple and inspired by HiDee and Lynn at The Write Way Café.
What is your unique talent? Easy out---you can just say hi too.
Excerpt for The Eyewitness –Enjoy!
“I’m sorry, Alec. I thought clearing my father’s office would help.”
“You don’t owe me an apology. I get why you came here, and it is me who should apologize. I took my mood out on you.”
He tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. Emersyn ached to press her hand over his and feel his heat on her face. But at the same time, a new sense of self-preservation prickled across her skin. Who could she trust? Her own mother had warned her that she really didn’t know the man in front of her.
Fear had a way of distorting reality. Her world had become so damn confusing she couldn’t find balance. She slipped her hand into her pocket and fingered the flash drive. The small piece of plastic could be nothing—or it could be everything.
“Em, where did you go?”
She faked a smile. “Just thinking about work. I keep expecting an email from security requesting my badge.”
He drew her close, wrapping his arms around her, his warmth calming her immediately. She couldn’t pull away. She needed this—something else she couldn’t understand.
He finally dropped his arms and took a step back. “I know Angela McCain well. Regardless of how she feels about you right now, she will get to the bottom of what happened yesterday.”
“I keep running the events through my head. The fire had to come from inside the walls, but there was no burning smell.”
“The fire marshal and CI team are on scene. This wasn’t a lab accident, and they aren’t treating it as one.”
“Why haven’t they questioned me?”
“I’m sure they will at some point.” He lifted her chin. “Something else is wrong. I see it in your eyes. What else happened?”
“You are a terrible liar.” He let her go, resting his arm on the roof of her car. If he was trying to make her feel trapped, it worked.
“From my house to here, what could have possibly happened?”
“What do I have to do to get you to trust me, Em?”
The annoyance in his voice set her back up. “I’m not getting into this with you in the parking lot.”
“Answer my damn question.”
And they were right back where they always seemed to fall, at each other’s throats. She tossed her shoulder bag into the front seat. Hell, if it was a fight he wanted, then maybe a good bitch-slap was what she needed to clear her head. “For starters, you can stop pissing me off with things like this.” Emersyn knocked his arm off her car so she could drop into the seat. He blocked the door when she tried to close it.
“How, Em? I walk into a room, and your blood starts to boil.”
She couldn’t get the shields up fast enough. “You could at least pretend you don’t despise me, maybe treat me once in a while like you treat Tessa.”
He knelt and reached for her hand. “I don’t despise you.”
“Now who is lying?”
Nancy C. Weeks has loved happy-ever-after romances since her early teens. While still in college, she met and married her hero. She spent the next several years honeymooning and working overseas. Today, she lives in suburban Maryland with her husband of more than thirty years. With her two grown children out of the nest, she enjoys spending her days writing suspenseful happily-ever-after adventures outside on the deck as the local bird population keeps her company. When she is not writing, Nancy loves to blog about fascinating people, both real and fictional. The one quote that kept her dream alive: Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. ~Thomas Edison~
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