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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Interview of Author Marliss Melton

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author Marliss Melton.

Latest Book: LONG GONE, A novella based on characters from TOO FAR GONE (Navy SEAL Book #6)

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Navy SEAL Book #6, TOO FAR GONE, was released in Nov 2008. At the end of that book, I left the secondary romance between Skyler and Drake open-ended. There wasn’t any question these two loved each other, but Skyler was being shipped off to witness protection (WITSEC) and Drake had no idea if and when he’d ever see the love of his life again.

Four years later, their lives intersect once more. When Skyler realizes someone in WITSEC keeps disclosing her location to the mob, she turns to the one man in the world she knows she can trust—the FBI special agent she fell in love with years ago. If Drake Donovan can’t help her, then she’s as good as dead. If he can, then anything is possible.


Marliss Melton enjoyed an exotic childhood growing up overseas where entertainment meant riding on elephants in Laos, Sunday visits to museums in Paris, and tracking tigers in northern Thailand. Marliss excelled in linguistics, music, and story-telling. She has taught English and Spanish at the high school level and Linguistics at the College of William and Mary, her alma mater. A Golden Heart and RITA finalist, she has written ten books since becoming published in 2002. Wife of a retired Navy veteran, Marliss finds writing military romantic suspense to be a perfect fit. She lives with her husband and many children between Virginia Beach and Washington D.C., where she is inspired by the heroism of Navy SEALs and government special agents who work to keep the free world safe from terror.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: The ending of a book is always the easiest to write—at least it should be if you’ve lined up your ducks in order. Whereas it takes me a week to write a chapter in the middle of the book, I can often write two or three chapters a week when I’m winding down a story. All the plates I’ve tossed into the air succumb to gravity. It’s fairly easy to figure out which ones must come down before the others. When the ending of a story becomes difficult to write, then something is wrong with the plot! Once I had backed myself into such a plot-corner that it took me four weeks to figure out how to write myself out of it!

Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as one of your heroines? Tell us about your heroine.
A: Funny you should ask. I’m writing a screen play of THE PROTECTOR, Book #1 in my Taskforce Series. It’s about a Navy SEAL called out of seclusion to protect the daughter of a top U.S. general from the terrorists determined to kill her. A cross between SHOOTER and TAKEN, THE PROTECTOR would make a great movie. I’d want a compelling and irresistible blonde to play my heroine—someone like Julianne Hough. My hero, Lt. Ike Calhoun, may resent having to babysit a blue-eyed beauty at his mountain hideaway but, soon enough, he’ll fall for her charms and be willing to protect her at all costs.

Q: What’s your strongest point as a writer?
A: It’s often said that a good book is not written, it is rewritten. That is certainly the case for me. My strength as a writer stems from being a perfectionist. I don’t just write a book; I revise and tweak it until I am truly satisfied. Readers tell me to write faster! I reply that they wouldn’t like what I wrote if I cranked out books in a hurry. Writing books is like making wine. A fine wine takes time; so does a fine story.

Q: You’re on a remote island with a handsome man, a computer, and a “mysterious” source of electricity to power your computer. What do you do?
A: Being a clever woman, I would first hide the computer from the man—until and unless it ceases to work. For a while, I would ignore the device and concentrate on beguiling the man, making him fall totally and irresistibly in love with me. I would keep him up late at night while gathering all kinds of intel for my books. Not only is he a handsome man, but as it turns out, he’s also a Navy SEAL! Whenever my man went off hunting or fishing, I would be hard at work compiling my masterpiece! He would be the inspiration, of course. I would never show him the computer (unless it needed fixing) because men have been known to steal computers away. Moral of the story: What a man doesn’t know won’t hurt him!

Q: Facebook, MySpace, Blogs, Chats, or Twitter. Which do you like best and why?
A: Yes, I know that Twitter is all the rage, but I can’t get into it. I think it’s because they limit how much you can say at any one time. It’s like living with a gag order. Facebook has no such constraints, plus I have tons of wonderful friends there, and I love reading about their personal lives, seeing family photos, sharing in their highs and lows. Even better, Facebook is linked to Pinterest, which I find to be a ton of fun, and Goodreads, where I can review books I’ve read and read reviews about my own books. No doubt about it, Facebook is my social media venue of choice. (But I am known to tweet once in a while).

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!!/marliss.melton

After four years of fear and isolation, Skyler Dulay has had enough of being in WITSEC, the federal witness protection program. Uprooted every few months to stay ahead of her father’s murderous associates, she fears they will stop at nothing to silence her damning testimony, and now . . . they've found her again. Suspecting a leak in WITSEC, Skyler reaches out to the FBI special agent who saved her once before, the man she has never stopped loving.

Special Agent Drake Donovan has spent four long years trying to forget the blue-eyed daughter of the mob boss he put behind bars. In spite of his efforts to move on, one desperate call from Skyler pulls him right back in to the fight for her future.

Setting out to defend her, he runs into more danger than any one man can handle. Still, Drake will assume any risk to keep Skyler from being lost to him again, but will it be enough to free her from the mob-ties that bind her?

The long-awaited sequel to TOO FAR GONE (Navy SEAL Book #6)


It’s been four years since FBI Special Agent Drake Donovan fell in love with the daughter of the mob boss he put behind bars. In spite of his efforts to move on with his life, one desperate phone call from the blue-eyed beauty pulls him right back into the fight for her future. Drake will assume any risk to keep Skyler from being lost to him again, but will it be enough to free her from the mob-ties that bind her?

EXCERPT: Warning: Adult Language
Drake pushed the elevator button for the third floor. Then he jabbed the close-door button until the elevator finally lurched upward. The adrenaline juggernauting through his system rocked him on his feet. Anxiety twisted his intestines.

He had dreamt of the moment when he and Sky would be reunited; every one of those dreams had been impossibly sweet—not like this. Foreboding robbed him of any pleasant anticipation.

For Centurions to have found her three times, WITSEC had to have unintentionally leaked her location. If WITSEC couldn’t keep her safe then who could?

He pictured them running away together to a place like Thailand, where his sister, a CIA case officer, was assigned. Imagine making love to Skyler whenever he pleased and watching her graceful interactions with the locals! On one hand, it sounded like paradise. On the other, could he bring himself to walk out on his obligations to his mother the way his father had?

The doors parted with a chime on the third floor.

With a deep breath, he marched out onto the landing and turned left toward 314. At the end of the hallway, two men were pushing through the emergency stairwell exit, and one of them was carrying a woman.

The woman’s hair was auburn hair, not gold like Skyler’s, but she could have colored it. He couldn’t see enough of her face before they stepped out of sight to make a positive ID, but he swore that her scent—a blend of gardenia and honeysuckle—still hung in the air. Given the way her head had lolled on the man’s shoulder, she had to be passed out, cold.

They’d gotten to her first!

The realization had him pausing to retrieve his Glock 36 from under his pant leg. Then he pursued the pair, slipping stealthily through the fire door in their wake. Several levels below him he could hear footfalls and low-pitched voices. There were three of them, he realized, not just two.

Silencing his footfalls as much as possible, he flew down the steps in hot pursuit. But they were already on the ground floor, now, exiting the building.

As a loud click signaled their departure, Drake leapt recklessly down the remaining stairs. He couldn’t let them get away. Christ, how would he ever forgive himself?

Barreling through the exit on the ground floor, he found himself in a parking lot gilded by a gray dawn. Less than thirty feet away, the man who’d been carrying Skyler had just unloaded her into the back of the van and was about to climb in himself.

“Hey!” Drake yelled.

The man swiveled to look at him, and Drake raised his weapon, stalking the van with determination. “FBI! Put your hands in the air and step away from the vehicle.”

The man assessed the immediate area, saw no one else and, with a shout at the driver, dove into the cargo area and slammed the door shut. The engine roared and the van peeled away.

Oh, hell no. Aiming his weapon at the left rear tire, Drake fired. But in the gloom and with the van in motion, he missed. “Fuck!” His rental vehicle was parked near the front of the hotel. His odds of catching up with the van were slim, at best.

But then a second pistol barked, and the van wobbled, but it didn’t stop. At a hampered pace, it continued to make its getaway.

Drake sprinted toward his rental, wondering who had helped him. He jumped into it, revved the engine and zipped out of his parking space, having parked tail-end-in.

As he scanned the horizon for the van’s taillights, he spied a lone figure, back-dropped by a brightening sky and standing near the lot’s exit.

His father. What the hell? Connor must have followed him and fired on the van after Drake missed his shot.

Too grateful to be angry, he slowed just enough to let his father in then took off before the passenger door was even shut.

“You want to tell me who we’re after?” Connor demanded irritably.

Not really. But now that his father was involved, Drake couldn’t bring himself to reject his help. He just hoped he didn’t end up costing both of them their careers.


Cara Marsi said...

Wonderful interview. I love your answer to the stranded on an island question. You've sure had an interesting life. The SEAL series sounds terrific. Best of luck.

Nicole Morgan said...

Great Interview Marliss. Thanks for stopping by and sharing with us. This SEAL series and book sounds great! :)

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