About Those Voices
Thank you for having me here today. I am excited to be back for another visit and announce the print release of my book Witness Protection on January 20th!
I wish I could spend all my days and nights writing but alas responsibilities dictate that I keep my day job as a high school science teacher for a bit longer. As far as jobs go, it’s a good one. The hours are great, I have my summer off, it’s rewarding on most days and exhausting every day but I’m basically home whenever my kids are. It’s a decent gig and I can’t complain. Yesterday I was chatting with a student and we started talking about her college plans. As we talked, she asked me about my own college years and career experiences.
As I described to her my pre-med years followed by a change to forensic science in graduate school and years spent working in forensics, environmental science and chemical engineering- all before I became a teacher- I realized that I have an extremely varied background and a whole lot of unique experiences to bring to the table. I have met a lot of different people from all walks of life and I find now that writing is my passion those people have begun to return to my life in the form of characters. Little personality quirks crop up here and there. I like quirky people. It makes life more interesting and I find that it makes reading a lot more enjoyable when the characters surprise you a little.
Witness Protection is a cop story through and through. The hero, Logan James, is a dedicated police officer who thrives on deep undercover work and is basically married to the job. The heroine, Angelina Ferrara is a former NYPD detective who lands herself in witness protection for getting a little too involved in a case. There’s action and suspense and then there is Aunt Clara. Logan was raised by his aunt following the death of his mother. His twin cousins are like brothers to him and Aunt Clara loves him like one of her own. She also lives on a mountain, has her own windmill and is a crack shot with her favorite shotgun. Aunt Clara says what’s on her mind and doesn’t walk on egg shells for anyone. Not to mention her interesting take on being prepared for everything.
When all was said and done with Witness Protection, I looked back and realized I had created a character that had become a combination of my mother and my husband. Everything she says and everything she does embodies the two people in my life that I am closest to and she made me, the writer, laugh out loud. What more could I ask for in a book? Upon closer inspection I have discovered that all of my characters in all of my stories take root in someone I have known or loved. So, I figured if I am going to have voices of relationships past rattling around in my head constantly then I might as well put them to work.
1. How did you start writing erotic romance?
Thank you for having me here today. I am excited to share that my ebook Witness Protection has gone to print! Writing romance was an easy fit for me- I love a happy ending and I love a good romantic story with a lot of sexual tension. From my very first story the two main characters had to be hot for each other or the story didn't work for me. Witness Protection has what I consider the perfect amount of sexual tension and thrilling intrigue.
2. Plotter or pantster?
I am totally a pantster. No matter how hard I try to plot ahead, the story always changes. My characters seem to have their own idea about how things are going to happen.
3. What are three things you have on your writing desk?
I don't currently have a writing desk. We are doing some remodeling and rearranging of space so I take my laptop wherever I can find a space that is quiet.
4. Favorite food?
Mexican. I personally believe everything tastes better wrapped in a tortilla.
5. Tell us a little about your new release. What character in the book really spoke to you?
Witness Protection is about a NYPD cop who gets in too deep with her undercover assignment and finds herself in witness protection. When someone figures out she is still alive and wants her dead for real, she is forced to accept the help of a local police officer doing a little undercover job of his own and his quirky Aunt Clara. Aunt Clara was a great character to write. She speaks whatever is on her mind and doesn't care a bit what anyone thinks of her.
6. I write because ____...
I write because I have to. It's cheaper than therapy and doesn't involve medication!
7. What is your favorite type of character to write about?
I like characters with distinct personalities, unusual quirks and maybe a little baggage. As a writer there is so much that one can with a character that has a little depth. There are enough hot cheerleaders and sexy businessmen out there.
8. What is the sexiest scene you ever wrote?
I like scenes that involve water. I find water to be extremely erotic so I have a tendency to put my characters in the shower, the pool or something like that. I also wrote a scene once that involved a large kitchen table in an old farmhouse.
9. What advice would you give new authors in the erotica/romance field?
Don’t get discouraged by people's reactions when you tell them you right romance. Romance novels are a very lucrative genre. Not everyone has to write the next intellectual novel. Some people actually like to read for fun and most people, whether they admit it or not, like a good love story with some hot and steamy chemistry.
10. What is next on your writerly horizon?
I am currently finishing up edits on a book titled Undercover in Six Inch Stilettos, the first in my new Secret Lives of Police Wives series. It's about a group of women married to cops with a penchant for finding trouble. I'm very excited about this series and the release of the first book in early spring.
Someone wants Angelina dead…again. Will following her heart put her in danger, or in the arms of the man she’s meant to be with?
As far as the world knows, NYPD detective Angelina Ferrara died in a violent firefight on Chelsea Piers over a year ago. Living in the witness protection program as history teacher Lucy Taylor was supposed to save her life, but being alive and living were two very different things. Until she meets Detective Logan James when he goes undercover in the same private school where she works. Something about the handsome man with the gorgeous blue eyes piques her interest. There’s no doubt he has secrets…but then so does she. When the Ricci crime family discovers she’s still alive, she finds herself on the run with Logan. Her heart led her astray before. Can she trust it to let Logan help her survive?
Her little car had an engine about as powerful as a hamster wheel. There was no way she was going to outrun the truck that was accelerating with lightning speed. On one side of her was a deep ravine, the other the steep slope of a mountain towered high and tree covered. The steering wheel vibrated as she pushed her little car to its limits, sheer adrenaline keeping her focused on the winding road. As she rounded a sharp curve, the back tires spun and fishtailed out from behind her. The tiny car shook violently as Lucy struggled to maintain control. The SUV caught up with her then, ramming into her rear bumper. The car groaned but held on. Lucy spun the wheel to make the next sharp curve, all the while her eyes searched for a way off the dangerous mountain highway. Another crash from behind jolted her car forward with such force Lucy lost her grip on the steering wheel. The car veered right but she managed to straighten it out before hitting the tree line.
"What the hell do you want with me?" she screamed at the truck in her rearview mirror.
The driver responded by slamming into the back of her car again. Metal ground against metal, gravel flew everywhere, and the car careened toward a thick bank of trees to her left. Straightening the car once more, Lucy crushed the gas pedal to the floor and watched as the speedometer climbed quickly. Lucy felt the little rush of excitement she always got in a good pursuit despite the fact that she was the one being pursued.
She whipped around yet another curve, and the SUV caught up with her. Just as she managed to get her little car under control again, the SUV crashed into her back end again with such force Lucy thought her car might shatter there in the middle of the road. The little car veered to the right, aiming straight for the side of the road and the ravine beyond. Lucy tried to regain control but the effort was in vain. She braced herself as the car plowed through thick vegetation, hit something, and started to slide down the steep embankment.
She heard the growl of the SUV's engine roaring away over the revving of her own engine as the tiny car crashed through the underbrush. The car flew over a log and landed on the slick vegetation covering the incline. The car lost its hold on the ground and rolled its way down the slope, finally landing up against the trunk of a large pine tree where the engine died. Lucy's head smacked against the steering wheel knocking her near to senseless. Everything fell deathly silent as she fought to remain conscious.
A loud crack broke the silence. As she watched through the broken windshield, the tree in front of her began to wobble. Blood trailed from her forehead into her left eye, blurring her already shaky vision. Rubbing at it with the back of her arm, she used her other hand to desperately claw at the seat belt release.
If she didn't get out of the car, the tree was going to fall right on top of her.
The giant pine swayed once and then began its descent toward Lucy and her crumpled car. Yanking hard at the jammed seat belt, her head swimming and her stomach churning, Lucy finally freed herself. Just as the tree crushed the roof of her car, like it were nothing more than a tin can, Lucy pulled her body through the opening that used to be the driver's side window.
Cracking wood and crunching metal stirred up a cacophony of birds and small animals protesting the intrusion in their habitat. Lucy lay on the damp moss and rotting leaves, her heart banging against her chest wall. The sound of her pulse racing in her ears muted the sound of the creaks and groans as the tree settled against what was left of her car. Every inch of her body hurt, but her head ached most of all.
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Carolyn LaRoche grew up in snow country but fled the cold and ice several years ago. She now lives near the beach with her husband, their two boys, two finicky cats, and one old dog. When she is not at the baseball field cheering on big hits and home runs, she is busy teaching science to unwilling teenagers. She is co-author of the book The Crazy Lives of Police Wives and hangs out online at both Carolyn La Roche - Author and The Crazy Lives of Police Wives.
She also writes a blog titled Boys, Badges and Writers Block about the joys and challenges of raising boys and living the law enforcement wife life found at http://boysbadgeswritersblock.blogspot.com/