About the Author
P.A. DePaul is a multi-genre romance author including paranormal fantasy and romantic suspense. She originally hails from Carroll County and Baltimore County, Maryland, but also lived in Macon and Warner Robins, Georgia. She currently resides in a beautiful community just outside Philadelphia. Exchange of Fire is the first novel in the SBG series with the second novel, Shadow of Doubt, releasing April 2015.
Book: Exchange of Fire, SBG #1
Published: Aug 19, 2014
Publisher: Penguin Intermix
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Faking her death was easy, living with her past is harder, but nothing is more dangerous than falling in love…
Sandra Walsh was a deadly sniper for the Sweet Briar Group, a covert agency with assassins for hire, until her last mission went horribly wrong, accidentally killing an innocent girl. Knowing she’s a danger to her team, Sandra goes off the grid, becoming a Shade—an agent declared dead but secretly hiding among the living. She intends to honor her vow never to pull another trigger or have contact with the spy world again. Until she meets Casper Grady…
Grady is a former Marine with a troubled past and a debt to pay. His life mission has gone from protecting the nation to helping local children and their families. The moment he meets Sandra, he knows there’s more to her than meets the eye, but he can’t help but be drawn to the mysterious femme fatale. And when Sandra’s past suddenly catches up to her, Grady is determined to protect her at all costs, no matter how dark and dangerous her secrets are.
As the danger increases, so does their intense attraction. But when they’re forced to choose between each other and the people they’ve sworn to protect, their growing love might not be enough to keep them together—or alive…
What is your favorite visual oddity for a fictional character? (Example: Harry Potter’s lightning bolt scar)
I have to admit this is a tough one. I love to read all kinds of books including paranormal ones. In those, almost everyone has some type of oddity that makes that character unique. I’m going to have to hang my head and admit I’m stumped. I can’t choose between scars, tattoos, injuries (such as lost limps), unusual height, or exotic color of eyes.
What is the most unusual character hobby you have ever come across in fiction?
Lol. The moment I read this question, Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series came to mind. She has this badass wizard, a man who is so tough, even his dialogue is cutting, yet, he loves to watch the Lifetime channel. He’s addicted to all the feel-good movies and shows.
In your opinion, what makes a character really feel unconventional?
Hmm…<tapping chin>. I think an unconventional character is one who doesn’t really belong in the story’s world, yet, somehow manages to make such a statement, the story wouldn’t be right without them. This character brings a different point of view, a different approach that can really make a story fun.
In your opinion, what makes a character three-dimensional?
This is an interesting question. A character, regardless of whether they’re good or evil, should make a reader feel. A well-developed character will have a reader cheering or booing their actions. In my opinion, the most effective thing an author can do to make a character three-dimensional is to invest time in having the reader understand their motivations. What made that villain evil? Why is the hero/heroine so bent on risking their life to safe X?
What is your main character’s most admirable quality?
I’d say our hero, Casper Grady’s, most admirable quality is his fierce commitment to keeping those weaker than others safe. Be they children or adults who can’t/aren’t able to fight back, he will be their champion.
For our heroine, Wraith, AKA Sandra Walsh, her most admirable trait is her huge heart. She only wants the best for those around her and will do whatever she believes is the best for each person. Sometimes that means tenaciously sticking around until that someone lets her beyond his/her walls, while other times that means leaving if her staying jeopardizes his/her safety regardless of the pain it causes her.
Is there a way your main character can change the world to benefit other people? If so, what would most motivate him/her to try?
Casper Grady has tried to do this in two different ways but always with the same purpose: Stop bullying. First, he joined the Marines and had survived many tours to the Middle East—global bullying. The second way is when he left the Marines and set up a family fun center so the children of all ages could have a safe place to play and hang out without fear from bad influences or pressure. His motivation happened in his youth when his best friend died from a fight with a bully and he arrived too late to save her.
Wraith, AKA Sandra Walsh, tries to save the world by belonging to a kickass Black Ops unit whose missions task them to eradicate such things as sex slavery rings, drug cartels, terrorists, and crooked people in power. As the sniper of the unit, she’s done her share of trying to save the world, one bullet at a time.
If your antagonist was there for the creation of the sandwich, what toppings would that character select to place between the bread slices?
HAHA! What an awesome question! In Exchange of Fire I have two villains, a storyline villain named Carlos Osvaldo, and a series villain named Victor Dalmingo. They are two very different men with very different purposes for going after the hero and heroine.
I believe Carlos Osvaldo’s sandwich toppings would include hot peppers, spicy mustard and/or Tabascos Sauce.
Victor Dalmingo would have more reserved toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, and/or caviar.
Zach grinned, his white teeth orthodontic-straight. “I concede.” He held his hands up in surrender to the guffaws of the peanut gallery. “What are my choices again?”
“Either covering Todd’s shift tomorrow night or—”
“Or covering Todd’s shift tomorrow night,” a deep male voice drawled from just behind her.
Sandra’s heart ratcheted up a notch at the familiar, sexy Carolina intonation. Casper Grady. Delicious owner of the entertainment center and her direct boss. Her pulse thumped at his sudden arrival, and she had to catch her lips before they broke into a sappy grin—like all the other women who were in his presence. She casually turned and feasted her eyes on six feet, three inches of pure masculine male with short sun-kissed hair. His biceps bulged at his crossed-arms pose, and his feet were spread to support his strong physique. Marines: It does a body good.
“You’re being too soft on Zach, offering him a choice,” Grady said.
“Hey,” Zach exclaimed. “How was I supposed to know Sandra had freakishly good aim?”
“Really?” Grady laughed, dropping his arms.
Goose bumps raced along her skin at the easygoing sound. Shit. I’m in trouble.
“You didn’t learn that lesson from Todd, who lost to her two weeks ago and had to help us with inventory?” Grady asked, moving until the sleeve of his green polo with the company logo brushed her shoulder—the very sleeve that hugged against his muscles. “Or from Marcie, who tried to get out of restocking the merchandise counter last week?”
Zach’s face reddened. “I thought they were flukes.”
Sandra glanced at the Skee-Ball machines. “I’m thinking it wouldn’t have mattered.” Her score was four hundred fifty, while his was only two-forty. “Maybe you should’ve asked for a different game.”
“Working a Friday and now a Saturday night,” Zach grumbled, shaking his head. “Gena’s not going to like me canceling on her again.”
“Should’ve thought of that before you accepted Sandra’s challenge,” Grady replied. Sandra could almost feel the vibrations from his voice dancing along her body. His arm grazed against hers, sending electric jolts soaring through her system as he positioned his hands on his hips. Every time they were in the same room, he somehow managed to physically touch her without ever appearing to purposely physically touch her. Player skill set? Most definitely, but she couldn’t seem to work up any anger over it. She secretly liked every accidental bump they had.
I would like to thank J Lenni Dorner for hosting me today! This has been so much fun! Also, a huge thank you to the readers for spending some time with me today. I’m open to answering questions—the best I can—if you’ve got ‘em! Note: I reserve the right to use writer’s embellishment! Heeheehee
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