Exchange of Fire and Hands On Experiences with @PADePaul

As many of you may remember from some of my experiences, including this one, research has a way of happening in all sorts of interesting settings. What I love about authors is that they also find unique and interesting ways to bring their books together as well!

Speaking of…. I get soooo excited when I have an opportunity to introduce you to new things and new people. Especially fellow authors. Have y’all met P.A. DePaul? If not, you’re about to. And if so? Stick around. She’s got some cool stuff to share with us!

Hello Kitt!!! Thank you so much for allowing me to take over today and talk about how hands-on experiences have impacted my writing! Who am I?

Are you sure you’re not psychic…. because I was soooo about to ask you that question. 😉

So glad you asked! My name is P.A. DePaul and I’m the author of the Romantic Suspense, SBG series. Exchange of Fire, SBG #1 introduces a clandestine Black Ops team working for SweetBriar Group (AKA SBG), a corporation the rest of the world believes is an environmental company.

In my opinion, one of the best ways to gain knowledge about a topic is to experience it. Sounds reasonable, right? Common sense, really. But what if you write about a Black Ops team who run covert missions? Hmmm…now that simple sentence gets a little trickier. Enter the Writer’s Police Academy.

Oooh! I’ve heard about this. Another author friend of mine went to one this last year as well. Wonder if she was at yours? Anyway. Back to you. It sounds like things are about to get exciting!

For two years I’ve been able to attend this awesome academy (which is getting harder and harder to do since attendance is limited and its popularity is increasing). What is the Writer’s Police Academy (WPA)? Great question! To quote their website (because they define it best) “The Writer’s Police Academy offers the most hands-on, interactive and educational experience writers can find to enhance their understanding of all aspects of law enforcement and forensics. This is a one of a kind event, featuring real police, fire, and EMS training at an actual police academy. Top instructors and experts!”

Now we’re talking! While I may not need every aspect in that definition for my SBG Series, I’m able to surround myself in a world where I would normally be shut out.

Now, as I said in the opening line, gaining knowledge through experience is the best way. In WPA, they offered Hands-on training. I can’t stress how valuable this was for me. In the two years, I got to perform building searches (you know, like on TV when the police are stacked outside a residence and they burst in and begin searching the home for the suspect), use a Glock in “real-life” simulations (the gun was modified with a laser “bullet” so when I hit the screen, I didn’t actually put a hole through it <grin>), put on the bomb suit and pass their “test” (the suit is over 80 lbs and they lay you on your back and you have to stand up without help…I did it! Wasn’t pretty, but I did it!), drive an ambulance in a specialized simulator to rescue victims, sit in a surveillance plane as the instructor described all the aspects regarding aerial searches, hand-to-hand combat where I disarmed “bad guys” of their guns and knives, and a self-defense class that allowed me to yell and curse at the top of my lungs while I beat the snot out of an assailant. Whew! And this is only what I participated in. There were so many more hands-on activities I just couldn’t get to.

What did all of this mean for writing the SBG series? Everything! Before I attended WPA, I could not fully describe any of the above situations. Sure, I could technically state the Glock was black but not how it felt in my hands or how nervous I was as the real-life scenario burst up on the screen and I had seconds to react or how I had trouble releasing the magazine because my hand was too small for the grip. All of this gave me so much more perspective. It allowed me to add emotion and a deeper description to every nuance of the scene. I also never would have been able to put on a bomb suit anywhere else or truly feel how claustrophobic that suit was and how heavy! I could go on, but I think you get my meaning. Having the hands-on experiences have helped me take my scenes to the next level.

Thank you so much for taking the time to experience one of the nuances of attending the Writer’s Police Academy with me! Do you have any questions? I’ll promise to answer almost anything (I have to put “almost” in there because I know you crazy (wonderful) folks can come up with some doozies, so I want to reserve the right to make up an answer for those).

By the way, I’ve got pictures to share with you guys, too!

Ambulance simulator and real-life EMT:

kitt photo 1
Me getting “suited up” in the bomb suit:

kitt photo 2Wow! Now that’s taking your art seriously. What an exciting class to take. Now I need to find an excuse to take a class like this, too! It sounds like such a cool experience. Soooo…. you gonna share with us a hint of how you brought all this together?

If you get a chance, you really should. As for bringing everything together, how about an excerpt and teaser? Heck, I’ll even throw in a giveaway opportunity at the end!

I’m totally good with that!

Exchange of Fire Cover

Intro:

In the following excerpt, our heroine, Wraith, and our hero, Casper Grady, have just escaped an assassination attempt when they were inside Wraith’s apartment. Wraith knows she needs to disappear and has to convince Grady to join her in order to keep him safe.

A little background: Wraith (sniper of Delta Squad) faked her death after her last mission went horribly wrong in order to escape SBG (or more accurately its CEO). The CEO got wind that she’s still alive and instead of celebrating, he sent assassins after her to rectify her still breathing status.

Blurb:

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…

Excerpt:
[Grady] “So what’s your plan?”
Just like that, the spell was broken.
“We go underground.”
“I’m assuming you don’t mean that literally.”
“Unless you know of bunker in the mountains that still has an Internet connection, no.”
“What’s so important about the Internet? You jonesing for a sale?”
“Ha. Ha. I need to jump on a message board.”
He crossed his arms; the position just served to show off his biceps. She suspected that’s why he did it so much. He leaned on the back of the couch. “And?”
“And don’t worry about it yet. I really need you to pack. I’ll raid your kitchen for nonperishables.”
He didn’t budge.
Damn. The first part of the evening she couldn’t convince him to go away. Now she couldn’t convince him to stay by her side for his own protection? What the hell? “Time is not on our side here. We gotta go.”
He dropped his arms and stalked forward. She held her ground. Just watching him move closer had her adrenaline pumping and her skin tingling in anticipation. He stopped inches away, his height looming above her. So not the time to notice how full and inviting his lips were. Nor the time to breathe in his addicting scent and instantly be ready for him.
His gaze darkened as it captured hers. He raised a hand and traced a finger down her cheek. “Since you’ve made it clear time is of the essence . . .” he said, his voice low and husky.
Her heart skipped a beat. Damn her for that statement.
“I’ll make this brief.” He leaned down until he was a breath away from her mouth.
Her lungs stopped working.

Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | All Romance | Goodreads | BAM | Kobo | iTunes

Giveaway:
PA is offering a tour wide giveaway of 5– $10 Amazon or B&N gift cards (winner’s choice) plus 4 e-copies of Exchange of Fire (sent via Netgalley). Just check out today’s post, leave a comment, and then fill out the giveaway widget!

Follow the Tour!

Be sure to check out all of the stops! Read fun,new content at each stop plus learn extra ways to enter the giveaway! For the main event page please visit… this page.

Author-PA DePaulAbout 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

 

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Pre-Valentine’s Day Preparedness

Whether you’re single, in a relationship or an “old married couple” there’s something about the Hearts and Flowers holiday that brings out the need to love and be loved.

As it turns out, I’ve got some people who just might be able to help with that!

First, we have my dear friends at Go Deeper Press, Lana Fox and Angela Tavares, hosting a 3 day event for FREE called The Mermaid Voyage. This is all about erotic self discovery. These lovely women are in touch with their sensual sides and are offering their assistance to help YOU get in touch with YOURS!

Next, here’s some help from Love Experts, Chuck and Jo-Ann Bird for those of you who feel like you’re in a sexual “rut” with your partner. Nothing like a little Role Play (and the right rules) to help bring back the spice. These guys are fantastic.

Then there’s my dear friend, August McLaughlin and her GirlBoner radio (available to view FREE HERE on iTunes). She’s all about frank, honest talk about the joy and beauty of human sexuality. I love her Sex Positive outlook on the world (which is actually probably one of the first bonds we shared). Care to know more about what it means to be Sex Positive? Read this post…I felt pretty awesome that she enjoyed my first book enough to mention it as part of this post. What an honor!

Finally, for those couples looking for something more “obscure” to spice things up….Here’s a post from one of my buddies, Anna Cade, of Herding Cats and Burning Soup that lists some of the more unique toys…including a “fleshlight.”

Now it’s your turn. Have you recently found a post that you think needs to be shared in preparation for Valentine’s Day? Are you a Valentine’s day hater? Do you have some great/funny opposing views to share?

Four One Night WEBSITE USE

My contribution to Valentine’s Day this year is my newest release, Four One Night. Did you miss the excerpt I shared on Emma and Loni’s pages a couple posts ago? Here it is, one more time, just for you guys.

Excerpt:

I nodded my head, an idea taking hold in my mind. “You know, I decided I needed to blow off some steam about three hours ago. You’re coming with me. You need it even more than I do. We’ll call it medicinal.”

“That sounds exactly like the kind of distraction I need,” she said, a smile flitting across her face.

“Good. Because it’s too freaking cold to be standing around. My nipples are pointing all over the place for all the wrong reasons!” We hustled to my car, heels clicking a rapid staccato against the asphalt. “All this pent up energy has me in the mood to play. It’s time to call in reinforcements.”

“Ooh!” She looked at me over the hood, her baby blues full of mischief. “That means Michael’s coming. Think he can handle both of us?”

“We’re about to find out! If not, there’s always you and me.” I laughed and yanked my phone out of my purse pocket.

“Danielle Monroe! You are such a tease.” She tossed her dark gold curls over her shoulder.

“Am I? You’ve never seen my bad girl side.” My eyebrow raised, daring her to take me up on the offer.

“Now that sounds promising.” She said, batting her eyes in the worst parody of exaggerated flirtation I’d seen in a while.

Shaking my head and smiling at our antics, I dialed Michael. With the receiver to my ear, the muted strains of “My Cherie Amour” floated through instead of a ring. The frigid air whipped through the thin cotton of my shirt causing a shudder to ripple through my curvy frame. I grabbed for my key fob and quickly pressed the unlock button.

“Hey babe,” his dark, raspy voice came on the line. “What’s up?”

“Well, that all depends on you,” I purred as my hands motioned Candace to get in the car. “Work was nuts and Candace and I need to blow off some steam. We’re headed over to Club Heat for ladies night. Will you join us or do we need to find some other sexy men to play with?”

“Ooh, someone’s feeling feisty.” I could practically see his smile through the rumble in his voice. “I love it when Miss Dani comes out to play.”

“Then you’re gonna love me tonight.” Grabbing the handle, I tugged my door open. Finally out of the chilled air and in the driver’s seat, I slammed the door shut and shoved my key in the ignition.

“Two wild women looking to unleash themselves after a bad day?” The little beep of his car alarm being released sounded through the receiver followed by the slam of the door. “That may be more than I can handle alone.”

Tipping my head against my shoulder to cradle the phone, I turned the key in the ignition, quickly followed by the heater. “Michael Gallo! Afraid you might need reinforcements?”

Music flared in the background as he started his car. “Afraid is such a strong word. I prefer to think of it as being prepared for any eventuality.”

“Well, you know how I feel. The more, the merrier. Hot men and alcohol make everything better!” With one last look in my rear view mirror, I shifted into drive, leaving our bad day in the dust.

Ending the Year With Style! #ThreeForAll

Ya’ll have known that this year has been a tough one, but I’ve kept smiling. They say if you keep trucking and don’t quit, good things are bound to happen, right?

Well, my editor’s gift to me was a phone call telling me that my first book, a short, was finally ready to go! So, with a whole lot of butterflies in my stomach, both excitement and fear, I published my first book. Christmas evening, Three For All went live on Kindle! Merry Christmas to me! This is the first of a 3 part series, the next to be released early next year.

Three For All WEBSITE USE

Baltasar Gracian said “Friendship multiplies the good in life and divides the evil.”

This part of my life has shown me how absolutely true that statement is. I have been very fortunate to have some amazing friends and writers (often both) who have supported and encouraged me through my process. To you guys, I say thanks for believing in me. I hope my freshman effort makes you proud (especially my beta readers…yes, that means you, Jessi Gage and Ande).

In the meantime, I figured I’d share an excerpt from the new book. Yeah….NOW I’m getting all brave and stuff. 😉

Without further ado, here’s a little teaser from my new short, Three For All:

“Oh, come on,” James whined. “You’re not seriously going to make me go play by myself.”

“That was a loaded statement.” I bit my tongue to keep from giggling over James’ inadvertent innuendo. “But seriously, there are always options.”

“Options?” His eyes were nearly black with intensity, his curiosity was caught. “Such as?”

“Well,” I smiled brightly and stepped between both men, “We could always head back to your uncle’s cottage. Much more privacy there.”

James shook his head as he took a step back. “Oh, hell no. This is my vacation too. We are not going back there just so I can sit all by myself in my room while you two get your freak on, christening every room in the place. Been there, done that. No thanks. Not today. Love you, but no.”

The urge to do a happy dance at the opportunity that just landed in my lap was nearly irresistible. Instead, I batted my eyes at them playfully as my hands found their way up both men’s chests, enjoying the feel of firm muscle. “Who said you had to be by yourself?”