Thursday, 15 August 2013

Blog Tour: Interview & Excerpt: Armed With Steel by Kyra Jacobs

Today, I have pleasure in bringing you an excerpt from Armed With Steele, plus Kyra Jacobs has kindly taken time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions.  Please give her a warm welcome!

Armed With Steele Blurb:
What happens undercover, stays under covers.
Jessica Hartley is looking for answers surrounding the mysterious car accident that nearly claimed the life of her best friend. She’s willing to risk it all, even her fledgling business, to find the person responsible and bring them to justice.
Nate Steele is more than willing to help Jessica, but for reasons all his own. He’s been watching the infamous Maxwell Office Solutions for some time now, convinced there’s more going on than meets the eye. When his chief issues a cease and desist order yet again, Nate has no choice but to accept inexperienced Jessica as an undercover partner outside the letter of the law. 
Will Jessica and Nate be able to flush out Maxwell’s elusive villain, or will their growing attraction for each other sabotage their undercover ploy? Motives aren’t always what they seem when Jessica finds herself armed with Steele.
CONTENT WARNING: Beware drool-worthy men in uniform, touchy-feely coworkers, and vindictive ex-girlfriends.

Purchase Links:

Author Interview:
1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? About two chapters into the writing of this book. ;-) I hadn't planned to write it, but an unfortunate sports accident left me with a broken finger a few years back. Not able to golf or garden much with my hand in a cast, I sat inside and tried to think of a different creative outlet. Writing it was!

2. How long does it take you to write a book? Usually 4-6 months. Armed With Steele, though, was re-written once and edited nearly to death…I’ll blame it on newbie-itis. Subsequent novels haven’t taken that long, though editing for me can become quicksand if I’m not careful.

3. What do you think makes a great story? Relatable characters. If I can’t relate at least a little, then I can’t connect with them. And if I can’t connect, then all bets are off.

4. What is your work schedule like when you're writing? Horrendous. LOL I work full time, plus have a hubby and two kids. I try to squeeze in some writing time when I can--which is usually when I should be sleeping.

5. How do you balance family and writing? Some days I wonder if I’ll ever discover what true “balance” feels like. For now, I try to write when either everyone else is in bed, or when the kids are out playing and hubby is busy with other stuff as well.

6. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books? Most story lines just broadside me as I’m driving, though some have actually popped into my head in the middle of a conversation. “Sorry, can you hold that thought? I've got to jot something down…

7. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book/s? I found in my current WIP that my heroine’s character flaw is also one of my own. Funny how I hadn't really noticed it before…

8. How many books have you written? Which is your favourite? I've finished 2 and have three in the works. All but the first are in some stage of the editing process. A favorite? Wow, that’s hard. ARMED WITH STEELE will always hold a special place in my heart. The rest are just going to have to battle it out.

9. Are your characters based on anyone you know? Oh, sure, though I can’t divulge any more than that… ;-)

10. Do you have a favourite place you love to write? Outside, on the rare occasion the weather and lighting is just right. Otherwise, anywhere with a comfy seat.

11. How hard is it to get published? That depends. If you are self-publishing, technology has never made it easier to get your writing out there. Traditional publishing is still extremely difficult to break into—but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

12What do your family and friends think about your books? They've been incredibly supportive. My mother-in-law actually told me I was brave when she found out I was looking to get my book published. When I asked her why she thought that, she replied, “Because of all the rejection you might get.” Truth be told, until that moment I hadn’t really thought much about that. But instead of her words scaring me off my mission, they helped remind me to thicken my skin as I began the journey toward publication.

13. What do you like to do when you are not writing? If the weather cooperates, I love to play in my flower and vegetable gardens. I also enjoy hitting the links and playing sports with my kids. When they’re in bed, the hubby and I love to jam together on Guitar Hero.

14. Do you have any suggestions to help aspiring writers better themselves and their craft? If so, what are they? Be open to studying the craft. It’s one thing to sit down and write a story – it’s an entirely different process to create a novel. If you want agents and publishers to take you seriously, your work typically needs to follow the guidelines of a novel in whatever genre/focus you write.

15. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? Be an actress. But while I’m waiting to be discovered, I’ll write instead.

16. What are your favourite books and which authors inspire you? My favorite kinds of books are a good mix of humor/sarcasm and a happy ending. Janet Evanovich, Shirley Jump, Kristan Higgins, and Katherine Center have all inspired me one way or another.

17. For an aspiring writer what do you feel are certain do's and don’ts for getting their material published? Do write from the heart. Don’t force your work—let the novel drive itself.

18. What are you working on now? My current WIP is another romantic suspense set in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The hero of this one is a fireman, and the heroine a displaced massage therapist. Sparks are already flying between them. ;-) And they just may bump into a few characters from Armed With Steele before their journey is all said and done.

Thank you, Kyra for joining me here today!

“So, what are you proposing we do?”
Nate leaned forward, eyes gleaming. “How would you feel about becoming a brunette?”
“A brunette?”
“Or red, perhaps?”
“You…you want me to color my hair?”
In all my life I’d never veered from my natural shade of dirty blonde. Never had the courage to risk experimenting with something so…so out there for all to see. And now here was Nate, throwing the idea out like it was as easy a decision as whether or not my lunch combo should come with a side of fries or onion rings.
“That, and maybe update the style a bit.”
I grabbed my long locks protectively. “I am not going to let you cut all my hair off!”
“Oh, no!” he said quickly. “I just meant getting you a cut that’s a little more stylish.”
I looked down at a fist full of split ends, self-confidence dwindling. “What’s wrong with the style I have now?”
He walked over to stand behind me. Two warm, strong hands perched on my shoulders, and a pair of thumbs begin to knead my over-tense muscles. Damn, he was good. In an instant I was putty in his hands.
“Nothing. We just need to make sure there’s no way that anyone will be able to make the connection between you and Grace.”
The mention of Grace’s name snapped me out of backrub la-la land. I stared out the window and tried to convince myself that a hair overhaul was no big deal. That fudging my resume, applying for a job I didn't want, and working undercover, were also no big deals.
“You having second thoughts?”
“No,” I lied, thankful he couldn't see my face. Afraid I’d look weak. Or worse--vulnerable.
“You’ll be fine,” he said, his voice soothing, confident. “All of this--the job, the hair, the clothes--it’s just temporary. Once you get in at Maxwell, and we figure out who tried to hurt Grace and why, we can bag our villain and then you can go back to being the cute, blonde, computer wiz everyone knows and adores.”
Tension reclaimed its stake on my back but I said nothing, my mind too busy trying to process the fact that Nate had just called me cute.
His hands gave my shoulders one last little squeeze, then stepped to the side, reached down and gently lifted my face towards his. “Okay?”
I nodded. Fought the sudden urge I had to stand, wrap my arms around his waist, and rest my head on his broad chest. It surprised and scared me both. I found myself wondering why this handsome, compassionate…
“Perfect.” He gave my chin a quick rap with his knuckle and walked back over to the table. “My sister works at a salon near the mall. I’ll give her a call tomorrow, and then let you know what time she can get you in. Once she’s worked her magic, you can head on out to Maxwell to apply for that job.”
…bossy, obnoxious, pushy cop was any different from the rest.

About Kyra Jacobs:

Kyra Jacobs is a happily married, mother of two, who grew up in Indiana. When she’s not pounding out scenes for her next book, she’s likely goofing around with her husband and kids or elbow-deep in snapdragons and Lamb’s ear in one of her many flower gardens. She also loves to golf (though, golf doesn’t really love her) and to jam on the bass in Guitar Hero.
Be sure to stop by her blog, for updates on her writing journey and other musings as seen through the eyes of this Midwestern writer. 

Author Links:

1 comment: