I am delighted to have my friend, Nancy Weeks with me today to talk about In the Shadow of Greed. Nancy C. Weeks has loved happy-ever-after romances since she was in her early teens. While still in college, she met and married her hero and spent the next several years honeymooning and working overseas. Today, she lives in suburban Maryland with her husband of more than thirty years. Her two children are in college and she spends her days out on her deck writing as the local bird population keeps her company.
Nancy, what made you decide to be an author, specifically a romance author?
Writing a novel has always been a secret dream of mine. Stories have lived in my head my whole life, but I never felt I had it in me to become an author. When my youngest daughter began preparing for college, my sister, Mary, challenged me to get something down on paper. It was her encouragement that kept me writing that first year.
I discovered romance novels while in my early teens. From that moment on, I had at least one romance book on me at all times. I write what I love to read. Intense action, romance, happy-ever-after—what’s not to love?
What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least?
What I like best about being a writer is allowing myself to get lost in my character’s head, to really feel what they are feeling. I can’t explain what happens, but when I connect with my character, the story writes itself. What I like least about being a writer is promotion. The process of getting a book in front of an editor/agent’s eyes is just plain hard work. Once the book is published, the promotion an author has to go through to get their book in front of the reader is also very hard. I’m not very good at it and it tosses me why out of my comfort zone…but I’m learning.
How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing romance?
I write about a large, loud, loving families, the McNeils. I was raised in a large, loving, loud family. It was the best childhood a child could ask for.
In each of my stories there is an element of the supernatural. My mother taught me to believe in the abundant mysteries in life that we can’t see, touch, or feel―nor understand. But they are there if we just open our hearts to them.
Romance promises happy-ever-after. This year, I’m celebrating my thirty-second wedding anniversary. My sweet hubby and I still hold hands at the dinner table. This is what my Mother’s Day card from him said: I can’t imagine a wife more wonderful than you, a life more perfect than the one we share, or another man as luck as I am. How could I not believe in romance with a man like that in my life?
Have you ever felt as if you were being dictated to while you wrote a book–as if the words came of their own accord? If yes, which book did that happen with?
YES! Great question! In each story I have written, I have had a general premise, an outline of how I wanted to story to go. I can’t explain how it happens, but the characters in certain scenes seem to take over. It’s like a scene from a movie in my head. At some point, something happens totally unexpected. It doesn’t necessarily change the direction of the story, but I can’t help sitting back and enjoying the WOW moment―where in the heck did that come from? The story always ends the way I plan, but the way I arrive at the end is a real mystery. The wow moments in writing are just magic.
You’ve written two novels and are working on the third book in your Shadow series. What’s your favorite time management tip?
Boy, time management these days has really become a challenge. What I have done to make sure I get a couple good writing sessions in each day is I get away from the phone and the Internet until noon. Sometimes, I leave my house and sit at the park, or Annapolis Harbor. I have been known to even drive into downtown D.C., park somewhere along the Potomac River, and just write. When I’m searching for that word, sentence, I’m staring out at the famous Washington monuments.
Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer?
Oh, definitely a pantser and proud of it.
If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be?
I have two. Never allow anyone to ever tell you that you’re not good enough to be a writer. AND… Never allow anyone to ever tell you that you’re not good enough to be a writer!!!
What is the theme song to this book? As you wrote the story, what music did you go back to time and time again?
This is such an easy question. This is Jason and Sarah’s song. It is alive in Jennie and Jared’s story as well as Adam and Calista’s. It tugs at my ever heartstring. Enjoy!
Song from a Secret Garden – Violin and Piano
Tell me more about In the Shadow of Greed
Brilliant cryptologist Dr. Sarah Tu races against time to block the most dangerous Internet malware ever created, a botnet called QUALNTO. While Sarah is closed off in her computer lab, her sister, Hanna, is brutally attacked and left in a coma. As Sarah reels with guilt over not being there for her sister, a web of deception closes in threatening her and everyone she loves.
Hanna’s condition is misleading. In her coma state, she is able to build a psychic bridge with FBI Special Agent Jason McNeil. Her cryptic messages plague Jason to keep Sarah safe.
Tough and street-smart Jason McNeil doesn’t believe in visions or telepathic messages, and he fights the voice inside his head. His first impression of Dr. Sarah Tu is another stiletto wearing ice-dragon on the war path―until he witnesses her façade crumble after seeing her sister’s bloody, tortured body. Jason’s protective instinct kicks in. He falls for Sarah―hard.
When an extremely dangerous arms dealer and cybercriminal discovers that Sarah blocked his botnet, he kidnaps Sarah. Placed in an impossible position, will she destroy the botnet to protect national security or release it to save the man she loves?
How about an excerpt from In the Shadow of Greed?
He thinks I’m dead. Sarah’s coming. Help her!
The voice quivered inside Jason’s head. He pushed away from the pillar and froze. No one was there. His gaze fell back to the woman in the bed. His eyes narrowed and he clenched his jaw, biting down so hard, pain shot up his inner ear.
The next instant, a petite woman with long, straight, raven hair and the most beautiful, hazel eyes he had ever seen charged through the trauma unit. A security officer followed close behind and grabbed her arm, stopping her from moving any farther into the restricted area.
Jason stared at the woman in the bed and back to the woman by the door. He knew, without a doubt, her name was Sarah. His mind raced for an explanation.
“Ma’am, you can’t be back here.” The guard tried to pull Sarah back through the doors.
Sarah yanked out of his hold. The expression on her face was intense, unyielding. “Like hell I can’t. My sister is here. She needs me.”
The charge nurse moved from behind a counter of the nurse’s station and stood next to the security officer. “How can I help you?”
The nurse’s low, gentle voice seemed to have a soothing effect on Sarah. “Hanna Tu.” Her voice shuddered.
Jason couldn’t take his eyes off Hanna’s sister. In an instant, she transformed from a stiletto wearing, ice-dragon on the war path—just the kind of woman he disliked—into a frightened, desperate woman whose vulnerabilities brought out his protective instinct.
As her eyes wildly searched the trauma unit, the nurse reached for Sarah’s arm and guided her toward the doors.
“We’re still assessing your sister’s condition. I’ll have one of the doctors come talk to you in the waiting room as soon as they can. She’s in good hands, I promise you.”
“I need to see her. I need to know she’s okay. The police wouldn’t allow me into her apartment. No one has told me anything. There was so much blood.” She sucked in a deep breath as tears clouded her eyes. “Please let me see her for a moment.”
Her eyes narrowed on the cubicle surrounded by a curtain. One of the nurses moved the fabric aside and left carrying a tray of vials. Sarah’s gaze fell on her sister. “Oh God! Hanna!”
She took a step toward her sister, but her body began to tremble and her knees buckled. Jason rushed forward and caught her as her body collapsed. With one arm wrapped around her waist, he used his other hand to lift the badge that hung around his neck and flashed it at the nurse. “She’s with me.”
He then found an empty chair away from a direct view of the cubicle and lowered Sarah into it. He knelt, keeping his arm around her. Her body shook violently and she gasped for air. The charge nurse brought over a cup of water and handed it to Jason. He brought it to Sarah’s lips.
“Drink, Sarah, it will help.”
She sipped the water and closed her eyes, taking in several deep breaths. “W-who hurt her? W-why?”
“We don’t know, but we’ll find out. He’ll pay for this.”
Sarah finally glanced up at him and pulled away. “Who are you?”
And the ice-dragon’s back. Jason clenched his jaw to keep a smile from spreading across his face. He couldn’t put his finger on the why, but this woman intrigued him. “Detective Jason McNeil.”
“Why are you here and not out finding the person who hurt my sister?”
Don’t let her push you away. She needs you, we need you.
Jason was taken aback by the weak, small voice in his head. What the hell was going on? Finding his voice, he said, “Someone tried to kill your sister.” He glanced toward Hanna’s cubicle. A crushing anger boiled up from deep within his gut. “The guy who attacked her has killed at least three other times we know about and he didn’t mean to leave Hanna alive. I’m not giving him a chance to finish the job.”
Where can readers find more about your stories, books and you on the Internet?
Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Crimson Romance ebooks
The book trailer to In the Shadow of Greed
Nancy, thank you so much for being with us here today. I know my readers will enjoy your work and your interview.
My Review of In the Shadow of Greed: 5 Snap, Crackle, and Pops!
When I first began reading Nancy Weeks’ In the Shadow of Greed, I was immediately engaged by her main character, Dr. Sarah Tu. Attentive to the point of being obsessed with her top-secret work on a cybercrime, Sarah is so engrossed in her work, she misses the time to meet her ever-patient and forgiving sister, Hanna, to go on a vacation. That lapse allows a serial killer, who has been stalking Hanna, the opportunity to torture and kill Hanna. When Sarah arrives at blood bath, her world is crushed. Driven by guilt and remorse, Sarah spends every available moment at her comatose sister’s side at a rehabilitation facility. Much to her chagrin, so does Jason McNeil, a hard-bodied slab of a cop who had been trailing the serial killer.
Jason is consumed with rage over the loss of yet another woman to this monster. Hanna should have never been left to his cruel devices. Jason feels he should have arrested this animal months before. Now he visits Hanna on a regular basis and runs into the very attractive, intensely private Sarah Tu almost every time he visits. The attraction between Jason and Sarah crackles off the page, however, Sarah’s ability to shut down her emotions pushes him away at every turn. At last, he decides to leave the area for a geographic cure for his heartache and guilt. However, as the saying goes, “Wherever I go, I take myself” is true for Jason, too. He could no more forget Sarah than she can forget him. Fate and the forces of evil conspire to bring them back with a bang.
No spoilers coming from me! I very much enjoyed this story and learned a lot about cybercrime without feeling as if I was being lectured. Nancy Weeks did her research and it showed. I was delighted when it went off the pure police procedural/cyber forensics track to a paranormal romantic suspense story firmly anchored in solid police work and computer sciences. This book took me for a fun filled ride with enough twists and turns to keep me flipping through my Kindle late at night. I highly recommend this book!
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