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Darcy Williams is desperate for some relief from her ho-hum life, but getting kidnapped by an outrageously handsome man isn’t at all what she had in mind. She needs to keep it together long enough to escape. Because escape is what she wants, right?
He’s a nice guy doing a bad thing for a really good reason…
Ben Gallagher loves his baby sister, Ana, more than anything. So, when she’s date raped by the mayor’s nephew, Ben has no problem sending said nephew to the ER. Now Ana’s gone missing and Ben will stop at nothing, nothing, to find his sister and ensure her safety—even if that means carjacking and kidnapping an innocent woman.
Things spiral from bad to worse…
When Ben is injured protecting Darcy from some thugs, he has to trust her if he’s going to get to Ana. And he has to ignore the passion Darcy stirs in him. Darcy learns Ben is actually a good man, one she’s starting to have feelings for. Can their fledging relationship stand the test of time —and the law?
He cupped her elbow to angle her into the seat. “That’s not gonna happen.”
She spun which again planted her body tight to his. He stifled a growl and none-too-gently pushed her into the car.
“But why not? You’d be days gone and I wouldn’t be able to tell anyone where you went. You could ditch my car and steal another one. It’s the perfect plan. You don’t have to hassle with me and I don’t have to be kidnapped.”
He re-tied her hands. “It’s not the perfect plan.”
“Really?” Her mocking tone shredded his nerves. “Give me one reason why you can’t leave me here.”
He leaned an arm on the top of her car. “I won’t give you one reason, I’ll give you two. One, I don’t make a habit out of stealing cars.” His jaw clenched harder at her unladylike snort.
“And two, I know this area. I used to hunt chucker round here. No one would find you for days. And with all the fires, you’d be a sitting duck for a hungry, displaced bear or bobcat.” He clicked her seatbelt into place then firmly closed the door in her face. He got behind the wheel and turned the key.
She twisted to face him. “Let me get this straight, you won’t leave me here because you’re thinking of my safety?”
He backed down the road. “Something like that.”
“Dude, your logic is seriously warped.”
“Maybe, but I’m sticking with it.” He steered the car onto the paved road and headed toward the expressway onramp. “And stop calling me dude.”
“What’s the matter, dude?” she sneered in an exaggerated California accent. “Don’t you like the name?”
“No. So knock it off, lady.”
“Don’t call me lady. I’m twenty-four not eighty-four. Might as well call me ma’am.”
“All right, lady. Tell me your name.”
“You first, dude.”
Ben chuckled. He couldn’t help it. This lady was spunky and tenacious and not at all afraid to challenge him—even in this situation. He wondered how things would have progressed between them had they met in a social setting rather than in this trying situation. “Ben. My name is Ben.”
He took his eyes off the road to stare at her. She shrugged. “I took a shot.”
“So what’s your name?”
She stared out the passenger window. “Darcy.”
“Okay, Darcy, this is how it’s gonna work. I’ll let you go just as soon as I can, but I can’t have you going to the police or reporting your car stolen. Just think of this as an unexpected road trip.”
“Don’t suppose you’ll tell me where this little road trip ends?” Bitter sarcasm coated her words.
He accelerated her sub-compact onto the six-lane highway. “Nope.”
“And there’s no way I can convince you to let me go.”
“In other words, I don’t have a choice.”
“In other words, you don’t have a choice.”
Thank you so much for sitting down with Toot's for an interview. If you don't mind, I have some questions for you about the series and your process for our budding authors as well as fans, which I am definitely among!
And thanks for hosting me on my blog tour! I appreciate the opportunity to hang out with you.
So first off, Battle for Love Questions.......
In your own words, what is the Battle for Love series about?
Well, it’s kinda how it sounds...couples battling for love. I’ve (hopefully) taken characters that wouldn’t necessarily end up together and have them fighting to BE together.
How did you come up with the title of the series and of the current book?
The first book in the series was originally titled Accounts Retrievable. I didn’t have plans for a series until my critique group at the time fell in love with the secondary character, Darcy. They convinced me that she had her own story to tell, but I couldn’t come up with a series title that went with *Accounts Retrievable.* So I decided to take the nickname of my home state Nevada, which is Battle Born, and change Accounts Retrievable to BATTLE-BORN LOVE. The title BATTLE-TESTED LOVE came about because Darcy and Ben’s love is tested throughout the story.
How does the new book, Battle - Tested Love, fit into the series?
As I said, BATTLE-TESTED LOVE is Darcy’s story, and is the second in the series. My hope is that each story can stand on its own, but I think reading the series in order enhances the characters.
How many books are planned for the series?
There’s a third book, titled BATTLE-SCARRED LOVE.
What was your favorite scene to write for your hero or heroine in Battle - Tested Love?
The first few scenes were pretty entertaining for me to write. I love how Darcy stood up to Ben even though she was scared. I like to think her humor and grit came through.
What was the hardest scene to write for Battle - Tested Love?
This is difficult to admit, but the love scenes are always the hardest for me to write. Kinda ironic given that I’m mostly an erotic romance author. But to get the right mix of emotions, physical reactions and just plain physical actions is t-o-u-g-h for me.
*with a wink* Did anything memorable happen to you, that you wouldn't mind sharing, during the writing of this book?
My husband says I hafta plead the fifth on this one. *wink back*
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated and what made you decide to pursue it as a career?
In high school, I always enjoyed making up stories. Then I went off to college and kinda got out of the habit. When I became a stay-home mom with our son, I was inspired to write a story based around the TV show, Star Trek, Deep Space Nine – what would now be considered fan fiction. (It, thankfully, never saw the light of day.)
But writing it awakened something inside me I never really realized was there. A floodgate of sorts was opened and the story ideas just poured out. I started jotted down everything: character profiles, snippets of dialogue, descriptions of people and places… Pursuing an actual career in writing seemed the only logical course of action. Either that or go crazy. <wink>
What inspires you to put the pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard?
The inspiration for my stories is pretty diverse. I never know where or when *the muse* will strike. It could be from a commercial, an old western movie or someone I see on the street. When something or someone piques my interest, I start the *what if* game and we’re off to the races.
What are some of the elements in/of your writing process?
Hmmm. My writing process. Well, I usually write in the mornings, before checking emails or even my sale numbers. I’m a total plotter, needing to map out my characters goals, motivations and conflicts on paper. I’ve gotten into the habit lately of writing the blurb early on in the process. I think it helps to solidify the elements of the story in my mind.
Have you released anything under a different pen name, and if so, is there any difference between them?
Not at this time.
What's next for you?
I’ve started an anthology of short stories title *Holiday Hunks* with the first story, YULETIME WRAPPINGS, coming out this Christmas. In 2014, I plan to release at least two titles. One will be the third novella in my *Heartache and Hopeful* series while the other will be the first BDSM story in my *Trustworthy Texas trilogy.
Is there anything you’d like to add before we get into the personal questions?
Nope. *taking deep breath*
Now I know this is like asking you to choose between your own children, but out of all your amazing stories, who is your favorite character and why?
Oh, that is tough. Gosh….hmmm….well….Don’t tell the others, but I’d hafta go with Matt (Matilda) in WILDFLOWER, my erotic western romance. Matt’s story was the first one I ever got seriously about writing and I can really relate to the “ugly duckling” feelings she had about herself.
Are there any of your stories that hold a special place in your heart?
They all hold special places because they’re pieces of my heart.
What was the last book you read and what are your thoughts on it?
I just finished a short story by Lily Rede titled MAKING THE GRADE. I always enjoy Lily’s work because she packs a pretty big punch – even in a short story.
Lastly, let's steal an idea from the magazines.....What 5 things do fans not know about you and 3 they don't know about the book?
1) My two favorite beverages are water and wine.
2) I’m such a sap, I cry at Super Bowl commercials.
3) I hate going to the movies – by the time the previews are over, I’m ready to head home.
4) When I was a substitute teacher, my nickname was *Mrs. Evil.*
5) I love to break a sweat, whether working out or working in the yard – and the sweatier the better.
About BATTLE-TESTED LOVE:
1) I timed the release of this book to coincide with my mother’s birthday. She would have been 90 on September 11th.
2) My heroine is named Darcy and she used to go to medical school. My daughter-in-law’s name is Darby and she IS in medical school. And before you think I planned that, I didn’t. I started BATTLE-TESTED LOVE almost six years ago.
3) And speaking of six years, if it hadn’t been for one of my critique partners, BATTLE-TEST LOVE would still be languishing under my bed. She helped to put me back on the straight and narrow – thanks sista!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for taking time to answer some questions. Congratulations on the new book and I can't wait for everyone to read it!
And THANK YOU for letting me chill with you today! I had an awesome time!
As I got older, the stories didn’t relent. In fact, they only got stronger, the characters more insistent, until I had no choice but to put it all on paper. It’s become an obsession for me. One that I love.
When not sitting at my computer, I spend my time working as a substitute teacher and fitness instructor. Guess you could say I’m an equal opportunity “persuader” of the young and, ahem, not so young.
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