Today I have romantic suspense author Lynn Crandall in the hot seat. She’s doing a virtual book tour for her novel Dancing with Detective Danger, available from Crimson Romance.
Lynn will be giving away a $20 Amazon gift card to a lucky commentor during her tour. To be entered to win, leave a comment below. To increase your odds of winning, visit other tour stops and comment there.
Lynn Crandall lives in the Midwest and writes in the company of her two cats. She has been making up stuff all her life, beginning young when she created stories for her sister that kept them up at night when they were supposed to be sleeping. Her writing background is in journalism, but whether writing a magazine or newspaper story or creating a romance, she loves the power of words. When not writing or reading, Lynn likes to bike, hike, and spend time with family, as well sit down for a good movie on TV.
Thank you for having me on your lovely blog today.
My pleasure! Please tell us about your current release.
Dancing with Detective Danger is about two people who have suffered overwhelmingly painful experiences in their pasts. In the present, these people find themselves slammed up against their wounds and facing choices that may or may not bring them love.
A private investigator who works with her sister, heroine Sterling Aegar has never put to rest the trauma of her father's unsolved murder. Though she and Ben enjoyed a passionate and thrilling love affair, two years ago Sterling ran away from it when the wounds of her past demanded she insulate herself from the vulnerability of love and bury herself in her work.
A police officer, Ben has spent the last two years trying to put Sterling out of his heart and mind. But he knows it hasn't worked, and when he runs into her at a crime scene, his desire for her at a physical level is triggered, but more profoundly at an emotional level.
As their mutual case unfolds, Sterling and Ben not only work to solve a murder and locate a missing husband, they confront secrets that set them each free from a painful past.
What inspired you to write this book?
I enjoy stories that illustrate the complexity of being human and the variety of life. Dancing with Detective Danger evolved as a story from a thought about challenging commonly held notions about family relationships. While we all seem to hold dreams of growing up in a happy and supportive family, the boundaries of what is family and what is happy often need to expand to fit reality. I wanted to explore the idea that the family relationship of the characters—two sisters—has suffered through problems and yet remains intact, vital, and growing. Both the heroine and the hero are put into situations that ask them to examine the definition of family and what it means to be happy. I also am fascinated by the workings of solving problems and teasing out information to crack mysteries. So, the story world evolved with two sisters who work together as private investigators, support each other through pain, and become free to find true love.
It’s no use, Sterling fumed. Her brain refused to work. She sorted through the case files at her office, willing her emotions to stop tormenting her as she recuperated from a long, sleepless night. The benign sounds of Michelle keyboarding in the outer office did little to interrupt the mindless emotional turmoil of last night’s restlessness.
In the darkness, thoughts of Ben and how it used to be, what she’d done to him, replayed unrestricted by the distractions of daylight. And now, in the light of day, the thoughts, haughty and determined, challenged her sanity, coaxing her to give them room to do their work.
It troubled her that the warning flags were up again. What were they trying to say? Were they warning her of a big problem with the case? Or were they trying to tell her to beware of involvement with Ben? It could lead to more pain, and she knew it.
Two years ago she’d told him it was over. Loving him had been so easy, but then the fear welled too greatly inside of her. With Nicholas’s death, she’d realized more than ever that a heart open to love was also a heart vulnerable to excruciating pain and insurmountable loss.
Silly girl. You’d actually believed in a happily ever after. The breakup had been difficult, but she’d only done what she needed to survive. And even when Ben had finally accepted that they weren’t going to be together, endorsing her decision to quit police work was quite another matter, something he’d railed against with all his usual unrestrained gusto.
But Sterling knew in time she’d get over Ben. And fortunately she didn’t need his permission to make a life as a private investigator. He didn’t even have to like it.
To make sure no one would get close enough to leave her hurt and broken like her mother, she’d made a life for herself invested in independence. She’d dated a few times, but quickly questioned, what was the point? She had friends and companionship, and she didn’t want anything more. Lacey liked to point out that Sterling’s single-minded devotion to her profession was her own way of building walls against the world. Maybe so. Maybe no one would get in. Especially not Ben Kirby. It didn’t have to make sense to be right for her.
Sterling dropped her forehead into the heels of her hands. If only life hadn’t cruelly smashed them up against each other again. If only Ben would stop forcing her into a corner where she questioned her decisions.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I am presently working on the next book about the sisters, the "Lacey" book. Readers found in Dancing with Detective Danger that Lacey's husband Nicholas was killed while on his job as a police officer, but he is still very present in her life. In the second book, the story explores how this relationship can be sustained and whether Lacey will continue to want Nicholas in her life or move on without him.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Officially, I considered myself a writer at the time of publication of my first short story, about 15 years ago. Writing newspaper and magazine articles on regular deadlines also helped to define myself as a writer.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I write full time, but not fiction full time. I do a lot of juggling. But as a freelance writer I have a flexible schedule, so that helps, though making time for fiction is still challenging.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
It's not that interesting but I often write at my desk with my cat sleeping on my lap. She's my shadow.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
That's a fun question! Embarrassingly enough, I dreamed of being Miss America. I even learned a talent – ventriloquism, complete with a dummy named Dandy – and performed my "act" on stage for a local pageant when I was in high school. I think when I got fourth runner-up I realized it wasn't the career for me. I don't know what I was thinking!
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
How about a brief character interview?
Me: Sterling, what is your favorite thing about working with your sister?
Sterling: (chuckles) The sweets she likes to bring into the office. I especially enjoy watching her cut a cinnamon roll into bite-sized pieces. Just one of her many quirks. But really, it's just very comfortable to work with Lacey. She's got my back and she understands me. (looks down thoughtfully) We've been through a lot and she understands sometimes I'm not my best self, but she doesn't care.
Me: That does sound nice. What about Ben, how do you feel about finding him back in your life?
Sterling: (chews at her bottom lip and shifts her gaze) Ben is…a crazy man. I'm not sure I'd say he's back in my life, but I am running into him a lot lately. I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do about that. He understands I have concerns about his, umm… lifestyle.
Me: What do you mean, concerns about his lifestyle?
Sterling: He lives life on the edge, putting his life in danger. That scares me. I've lost too many people I've loved. I don't want to go through that kind of thing again.
Me: Well, let's bring Ben in on this. Ben, what do you have to say to Sterling about your risk-taking?
Ben: (tightens his cheek muscles, then gazes softly at Sterling) I do take risks, but some risks are worth taking. I know it's a risk for Sterling to let me into her life again. But she's strong and I believe in us. I'd like to think being together is a risk worth taking.
Me: Well, I can see you have things to work out, but thank you for giving us a glimpse into your lives.
Thanks, Lynn. I think that’s the first interview within an interview I’ve had.
Readers, don’t forget about the giveaway. Leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win!