Monday, March 19, 2012

Welcome Guest Author P.J. O'Dwyer! #RomanticSuspense #Horses

For the Small Press Treasures Blog Hop Giveaway, click here!
Welcome guest author
P.J. O'Dwyer
to the blog today!
See below for her giveaway!
Welcome, P.J.! Please share a little about yourself, your genre, and any other pen names you use.

Laura, it’s so wonderful to be here with you today! I write romantic suspense as P.J. O’Dwyer and have loved reading romance ever since my mother gave me my first historical as a teenager. Back then, the voice that said “you should write” was ignored, unfortunately. Instead, I opted to travel the world as a travel counselor. But the yearning to put words to paper resurfaced years later.

My choice of genre was a given after I met and married my husband. It seems his dreams and aspirations had always been focused on law enforcement. Twenty-five years later, married to a state trooper, it was hard to avoid hearing about the day-to-day police work he was involved in (very exciting stuff), not to mention the camaraderie and hilarious stories, especially the interactions cops have with each other. So it was inevitable I would combine both of our passions: romance and murder. (Not that murder is his passion, only solving them.) It also helps to have a go-to guy (my husband) to assist me on the law enforcement side.

That’s awesome! I love the way your personal life has informed your writing! So, tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

This is a very exciting time for me. My debut novel Relentless will be released April 15. This is the first book in the Fallon Sisters Trilogy where we meet Bren Ryan who is widowed, jaded, and searching for her husband’s killer by herself. That is until she meets up with sexy cowboy Rafe Langston who seems quite interested in her theory of murder—maybe a little too interested.

As an author, what surprised you about this story?

Well . . . I’d have to say, as in every story, it’s the characters themselves. It’s interesting, but as a writer you find the characters take on a life of their own, most times they dictate what’s going to happen next, and sometimes they even surprise me.  

That’s so true! What would readers be surprised to know about you?

This is embarrassing. I don’t count sheep when I’m trying to fall asleep at night. I make up stories—all with hot to-die-for guys and strong-willed, feisty women who give their men a workout in and out of the sheets.

It’s quite entertaining and has the desired effect—I fall asleep. Only frustrating. When I wake up, I never know the ending.

LOL That’s awesome! What was the hardest thing for you about writing this story?

On a serious note, Relentless centers round a very controversial topic—horse slaughter. As a writer, there is a lot of research involved in any story, and this one was no exception. But I owed it to every horse rescuer and animal advocate to get it right. 

The hardest part for me was watching the barbaric slaughter of healthy, intelligent, majestic horses on YouTube and interviewing horse rescuers. They made me cry with their loss, and laugh at their wit and the lengths they will go, especially, to outsmart their nemesis “the kill buyer.”

OMG! I admire you for this so much. The heroine in my third Anemoi book runs a horse farm with mostly rescue horses, and the research that led me to that characterization was similar. Good for you for tackling that storyline! So, what are you working on right now?

The second book in the series Defiant, which is Kate’s story, will be released in September. Gorgeous as she is idealistic, she wants more than just horse pastures. Only she gets more than she bargains for with the man who charmed her, because now he controls her.

But she’s a Fallon and resourceful. She’ll find a way to escape multi-millionaire husband Jack Reynolds, even if he is the U.S. Attorney for Maryland.

Currently, I’m working on the third and final book of the series Forsaken. Dani is the sister neither Bren nor Kate know about, yet. That is until the beautiful Irish barmaid Dani Flynn finds her homeland just a spec on the horizon behind her and open seas dead ahead.

She’s poised to change everything Bren and Kate believe to be true. And they’re not the only ones. 

There was no way I couldn’t write a book about Bren’s best friend Kevin Bendix. More like the brother Bren never had, eventually, they would become family—even if it was by law.

I loved writing Kevin. Maybe it’s because I have one just like him at home. It was fun to ruffle this guy’s serious exterior. 

Here’s a sneak peek into the life and times of Mr. Law-and-Order:

Sheriff Kevin Bendix’s life is orderly and free of complications. That’s the way he likes it. But that’s all about to change with one gorgeous, blue-eyed brunette who can’t prove she’s in the U.S. legally. It’s his job to have her deported. Only his attraction to Dani Flynn is clouding his judgment. She isn’t your average law breaker. All of about five foot two with a face of an angel and a body of a sinner, she will be his undoing. It’s not only his heart she’ll steal. Loving this woman could cost them both their lives.

Oh, very intriguing! What a great premise for a series! Whose head do you like being in the most when you’re writing, the heroine or the hero?

I enjoy the heroine. I get to live out my hopes and my dreams with her. But I find the hero is the most fun.

Let’s face it, when do you get to be in your man’s head? Well . . . you hope he’s always thinking of you. But to know those intimate thoughts they don’t normally share is a rush.

I love writing heroes, too. So . . . you’re debut novel is about horses. Why horses?

I fell into that by accident, or so I originally thought. I love animals. But writing suspense something bad has to happen. And with Bren it had to be about the horses. I wanted my reader to care about Bren and her life’s work. I also wanted to expose the hidden truth about something so hideous. When I learned of horse slaughter, I had a hard time wrapping my brain around the senseless murders that happen every day to such a noble companion we know to be the horse. 

On a lighter side, I’ve been told I couldn’t avoid writing about horses if I wanted to. They tell me, those who have researched our Irish heritage, horses are in our blood. My father bet on them, my cousin and uncle own them, and back in Ireland they stole them. 

I guess the sparkling shores of freedom looked a might safer than an Irish jail cell. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us about RELENTLESS?

I’m so glad you asked. As a writer, I believe we are entrusted to entertain as well as educate. Relentless gave me the opportunity to do both. Relentless became a reality for me due to the gracious nature of horse rescuers who took a call from a stranger, listened and agreed with enthusiasm to read Bren’s story, and offer their insight and knowledge.

As a way to thank them for their kindness and because their fight has become mine, I am donating 5% to horse rescue for every book sold in the trilogy and any other future works.

The only catch—you must purchase the books on my website at www.pjodwyer.com. There is a list of rescues to choose from including most states, a fair amount of provinces in Canada, and a few in the UK to include my homeland of Ireland, as well as, Australia and New Zealand.

That’s awesome! Okay, now, just for fun: 

Milk chocolate or dark chocolate? Sweet not bitter

Salty or sweet? Actually, both.

Bed or Kitchen table? Bed. I like the feel of satin.

Beach or mountains? If it has a lake—mountain.

Give or receive? Definitely give. You get more in return . . .
Headstrong horse rescue director Bren Ryan has been a red-headed streak of trouble for more than one man in Clear Spring. She’s grown up needling local “kill buyer” Wes Connelly, and since the sheriff ruled her husband’s sudden death an accident, Bren’s been investigating things herself. She’s certain Tom was murdered, and she’s hell-bent on cornering his killer the only way she knows how—by tempting him to do it again. And she’s the bait.

Rafe Langston came to Maryland looking for land and a fresh start. Or so he says. The sexy cowboy isn’t generous with details, but Bren couldn’t care less—until he buys half her farm at auction and moves into her childhood home. Suddenly, the last man she should befriend becomes her only ally in solving her husband’s murder. 

Soon their cozy stakeouts sizzle with unexpected desire neither one can ignore, threatening his mysterious plans and her promise to never fall in love again—especially with a handsome stranger whose secrets could shatter what family she has left.
Thanks for coming on the blog, P.J.! Where can we find you on the web?
Giveaway!
Two commenters who leave their email address AND whether U.S./Int'l in the comments will win a prize! P.J. is offering 1) an autographed copy of the hardcover edition of RELENTLESS (open to U.S. only) and 2) a $25 Amazon gift card (open to U.S. & Int'l). Contest open through midnight EST on Sunday, April 1! No fooling! *winks* Winners to be chosen by random.org. Good luck!
Now, leave P.J. some new release love and, if you were like me as a kid, fess up if you had a childhood love affair with horses, unicorns or pegasuses! *grins*

Thanks for reading,
Laura & P.J.

28 comments:

Shelley Munro said...

Great interview. My father bred horses and still rides a horse at age 83, so it was hard not to like horses a little. I'll have to check out the horse rescue situation in NZ, since that's where I live. All the best with your upcoming release!

shelleymunroATgmailDOTcom

miki said...

Great interview. When i was younger i went to an horse camp and there was one horse that was always left behind and the others childs were kind with her at all. I couldn't stand the hit so i decided to "use" her during my stay to keep her from being hit and such. Gypsy was so calm and kind and she was expecting. When she had her baby i was the only one with the veterinarian to be autorized next to the baby ( the first baby horse i saw ) so so cute
Gypsy was a horse that prefered word to act for the order, as soon as i discovered that ( simply because i could stand to touch her with the heels when she was carrying a baby) we became the best friends

International

isabelle(dot)frisch(at)gmail(dot)com

PJ O'Dweyr said...

Hi Shelley,

I hope you do check out RELENTLESS. I have a wonderful horse rescue affilate that is run by Nicki Cherrington called Last Chance Equine in Tikitere Rotorua that you can choose to donate your 5% from the book.

Thanks for stopping by from both myself, Laura, and the horses.

PJ

PJ O'Dweyr said...

Hi Miki,

That's a wonderful story. If you'd love to hear of another amazing story about a foal named Autumn from Washington State in the U.S. check out http://www.hopeforhorses.net/Autumns_Hope.html

It's a wonderful story about hope and love for our horsey friends.

Thanks for stopping by,

PJ

Rainbow Rescue said...

Good Morning, PJ!! Thanks for allowing Rainbow Meadows Equine Rescue and Retirement, Inc located near Sedan KS to participate in your research for Relentless. Those of us who dedicate our lives to create a safe place for horses in America, and across the world, need advocates in their corner, from all walks of life. It is wonderful to have your creative spirit join the fight to end the wholesale abuse and neglect of these magnificent animals!!

KhelseyJackson said...

Great interview! I am in love with horses!

books4me said...

I am a city girl for the US and have ridden horses a few times. The last time was for my honeymoon in Hawaii (over 17 yrs ago!) and the horse would NOT listen to me!!! I did everything they told me and that horse pushed me up against a wooden fence and kept walking...great bruise for a swimsuit! LOL!

books4me67 at ymail dot com

PJ O'Dweyr said...

Thanks Rainbow Meadows you have been wonderful to me. I hope the book will open many eyes to the horrors our horses face.

pamerd said...

Hi

I think horses are some the most beautiful animals around and when I was first starting to read books, I always looked for books about girls and horses. I still love to read romances with a western theme. However I have to confess that I have only ridden a horse a few times in my life. :)

Thanks for the interview and post, I am excited to read your books. I always love to find "new to me" authors.

Thanks
Pam
US
tpibrew@msn.com

PJ O'Dweyr said...

Thank you Pam. I have also only ridden a few times in my life. But I've enjoyed every time I've been able to interact with them.

I think that is what was so enjoyable--learning about them and all the help I received from the folks in horse rescue who were so giving of their time to help me.

Filia Oktarina said...

Great interview. I was only ridden two times in my life, it was when i'm and my family going vacation. In that place, ridden horse for fun and just one lap. But I've enjoyed it, i was very afraid first, but still like it.
Thanks for giveaway and making international!

filiafantasy at gmail dot com

Laura Kaye said...

Thanks for all the great comments for PJ everyone! I have always been a horse lover. I had a huge collection of collectible figurines as a child - horses, unicorns and pegasuses, but horses were my favorite. When I was 11 and 12, we went to Assateague Island and watched the wild pony crossing, and that really sparked my love. As a teenager, my best friend owned two horses, so we sometimes went riding on weekends. I've just always been a lover!

Keep those comments coming!

Evie said...

Thank you for writing a book that brings this terrible act to the forefront in a way that people can relate to. I've been involved with horses for 45 years and it hurts my heart to think of these gorgeous creatures going through something so terrible and scary. I look forward to reading your book and thank Cindy at Central Virginia Horse Rescue for referring us. Oh, I'm in the US and my email is horsluvr2@bellsouth.net just in case :) Thank you again!

PJ O'Dweyr said...

Thank you Evie for visiting today. I owe Cindy and all those in horse rescue who have helped me get this story out in the open.

Mabel Smith said...

Although I've never ridden horses, I have to admit to reading my share of unicorn/pegasus stories as a kid :o) Looking forward to reading your trilogy!

Robin said...

Great interview - and a great read :)

fuonlyknew said...

I am thrilled to hear this is a trilogy. horses are my passion. When i was a teenager I adopted a lame Morgan stallion that was going to be put down. He was afraid of everything and so malnourished. With time and love he blossomed. Never did lose his limp but was my best friend until his death 17 yrs. later.
USA
laurathomas61@att.net

Zenchick said...

what an intriguing topic...and the weird thing is, I just rode a horses for the first time in Montana at a dude ranch this summer. I'm sure I'd read this with much more interest, having befriended one of them. Look forward to the trilogy!

kmdenmark said...

Great interview, Patty. You have me very intrigued. Can't wait to read the ending. Best of luck with the book launch.

PJ O'Dweyr said...

Thank you Laura for hosting me today. I had a wonderful time on the blog interacting with everyone who visited today.

Don't forget you can preorder your copy of RELENTLESS at www.pjodwyer.com with 5% going to horse rescue.

peg said...

Haha, I have always had a bit of a love affair with Pegasus (I guess because my name is Peg).

P.J.
A friend pointed me to this interview and I'm looking forward to reading your book. I'm fascinated by the writing process.

Good Luck!!
pegva(at)aol(dot)com

Jennie Coleen561 said...

I enjoyed reading the interview and would like to enter the giveaway. USA jcn@centurytel.net

Grant said...

great interview, great story with love and lots more

Grant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Grant said...

and for the giveaway - grantab5@gmail.com

domestic

:)

Helen said...

great interview I love horse they are truly majestic creatures
US
helldog3 at aol.com

sweety said...

Thanks for the international giveaway!!

I'm an international :)

sweety225(at)rocketmail(dot)com

Laura Kaye said...

The winner of the amazon gift card is: Sweety sweety225(at)rocketmail(dot)com

CONGRATULATIONS!

The winner of the print book of Relentless is: Evie horsluvr2@bellsouth.net

CONGRATULATIONS!

And thanks for all the great comments for P.J.!