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Friday, October 22, 2010
Special Guest Dawn Kunda
This Week our guest is Dawn Kunda who will give away a copy of her book to one lucky commenter, so be sure to leave a thought for this new author :-)
Alexis: Hi Dawn. Welcome to Happily Ever After Thoughts. Thank you so much for coming. Can you start by telling us why the switch from Private Investigator to Romance Writer?
Dawn: Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Alexis.
I chuckled when you asked this first question. It’s a huge, long story, maybe a novel someday, but I’ll try to condense it. I wanted to further my career, so I went to law school. Granted, I still worked as an investigator, but I wanted to be “in” further and be a part of civil procedures. I eventually left law school because, knowing myself, I would put 110% forward and work would be my life.
Through work and my education, I ran into so many situations that seemed like a movie or a novel that I couldn’t help but put them into words. I can stay home to do this, use my education, and still have a life.
Alexis: I bet you have run into many situations. They say truth is stranger than fiction. So this is your debut novel. I imagine you learned a lot through the publication process. Would you share something you learned?
Dawn: Two main things stand out in the process, the “editing crunch” and the marketing.
I’ve heard about the “crunch,” but I’ve never been privy to what actually happens until now. It’s an incredible experience to have a professional editor of your genre apply the “rules” of writing to your own work. I will never say that I know everything and will keep learning as I continue to write.
And Marketing. I’m still learning and ferreting out what works best. It could be a full-time job, but I’m always itching to get back to writing the next novel.
Alexis: So what is Court of Lies all about?
Dawn: I’m still excited to talk about Court of Lies, even though I’ve probably read it a hundred times through edits.
Court of Lies is about Brooke and Scott who have combined their talents, stained glass artistry and landscaping, to create a magnificent project. Another project evolves as they develop an interest in each other.
Someone isn’t happy about them interacting and tries to put a stop, or shall I say a bullet, in their way.
Evidence tampering and legal manipulations find their way into the court system during preliminary trials of the suspects of the shooting.
Who’s the “good cop” and who’s the “bad cop?” Or is it the district attorney changing the rules? Do suggestions from a psychic help or hinder the investigation?
Brooke finds it hard to trust anyone during the investigation of the shooting. This includes her ex-husband and her new love interest, Scott. They are both suspects and someone is lying.
Alexis: Wow, sounds like a real web of corruption, but your heroine and hero manage to get through it. What are your favorite character traits of Brooke and Scott?
Dawn: I adore Brooke because she does have insecurities and doubts throughout the legal process, yet she also risks her safety to dig up information that only she knows may exist.
And how could I not love Scott? He’s strong in body and mind. He risks the wrath of the law to watch over Brooke. Every man has his flaws, though. He’s a busy man, as many of us are today. Scott needs to find time for a relationship and accept that Brooke’s time with other acquaintances aren’t a threat.
Alexis: What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?
Dawn: I had a great time with the research. I interviewed a stained glass artist who described the how-to and how she comes up with ideas. If I weren’t so busy, I’d take it up as a hobby.
I also interviewed landscapers and do a lot of homemade landscaping in my own yard. I contacted legal personnel to make sure my use of the law portrayed a realistic fictional version. The fact that I worked with the law for a handful of years gave me a head start. I did peruse my legal volumes to create twists in the story because law is not as black and white as we’d like it to be.
Alexis: I know, but that might be a bonus for some cases I imagine. I understand this book is available electronically now, but it will be released in print sometime next year, correct?
Dawn: Yes, Court of Lies is in many forms for e-book readers right now. The projected paperback release is December or January. I don’t have an exact date yet, but I will announce it on my website, http://www.dawnkunda.com, when I know.
Alexis: Do you have any other romance novels in the works?
Dawn: Definitely. I’m about half-way done with my next romantic suspense, “Dirty Windows.” Briefly, it’s about a black-market baby operation with loose ends. In order to end the operation, the hero must distance himself from the heroine. Which is more important, a romance or justice? Or can there be both?
Hmmm…I don’t know exactly how I’ll answer those questions because I figure it out as I write and the characters put their two cents in, too.
Alexis: Ah, so the plot thickens :-) I understand you are going to give away a copy of Court of Lies to one lucky commenter.
Dawn: Yes, I want to give back to those willing to relay their thoughts. To know what readers want and think helps me write better stories.
Alexis: Well, that’s what this blog is all about, "thoughts." Thank you so much for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts. We like talking about romance novels here and learning about the wonderful people who write them :-)
Dawn: Your very welcome and thank you for chatting with me:)
Alexis: Here's a quick summary: Brooke's effort to start a new career along with love is shot to pieces as her ex-husband lurks around every corner of change. A bullet changes her course and Brooke must filter the evidence in a corrupt investigation with her ex-husband and lover as suspects of the attempted murder.
And a real teaser. Check out this excerpt from Court of Lies:
“What the hell are we doing here?” Ty demanded with a slight slur.
“Calm down. I have a reason for getting you in here this quickly. It’ll work to your advantage,” District Attorney Sabin said.
“You need to get me out of here, now. I have patients to see in the morning. Their needs don’t go on hold for emergencies,” Marla’s rattled voice added.
Remaining low key, District Attorney Sabin responded, “You both know you’re on the list of suspects?” He turned his attention to Marla, didn’t wait for an answer, and continued with a severe look. “You may have to give up a couple days of work, but this will be better than a whole lot of years.”
After a minute’s delay, Marla wiped the worried look from her face and said with defiance, “Many years? You sound as if you already have it figured out that we’re responsible for this horrible shooting. Maybe I shouldn’t be here period.”
Ty followed her lead. “I don’t want to be here long, either. Considering what we’ve been through, Attorney Sabin,” he stated snidely, “What makes you think you have the right to bring me in here without payback?”
“Trust me. I know this seems backward, but it’s in your best interest.” District Attorney Sabin stood and put his papers back into a brown and tattered brief case. He shoved the steel chair underneath a rickety, matching table provided in the bleak conference room of the county jail.
Frustration replaced the smugness on Ty and Marla’s faces as the guards surrounded them to lead them back to their separate cells.
Sabin approached Ty’s escort. “Leave him behind. I need a few minutes with him yet.”
The guards left the room with Marla in tow. As their footsteps faded, Ty shot out of his seat and turned on District Attorney Sabin. “I want that piece-of-shit Marshall away from Brooke.”
“Hey, I’m working on keeping you from being committed for attempted murder. I don’t think I owe you anything else.”
“I don’t care what you think. I have your job and your life in my hands right now. There’s no limit to what you owe me for not turning your ass in.”
District Attorney Sabin scowled and shook his head. “Okay, you tell me how I’m going to keep Marshall away from Ms. Bellin. You’ve got me there.”
Ty spoke slowly, enunciating his demand. “I don’t care how you do it. Charge him for trying to kill Brooke. Then you can arrest him. If you can’t do that fast enough, put a restraining order or something on him.”
“That’s impossible. I can’t charge him right now and she has to petition for a temporary restraining order.”
Ty glared and slammed his fist on the desk. “Then fake it.”
“Can’t do that.” Sabin paused and looked over Ty’s head, thinking. “I’m not the only one dealing with the evidence for the shooting, and the only way we can get a TRO on Marshall without her consent, would be if she had a guardian and that person petitioned. Marshall doesn’t have to be charged or arrested to be served a restraining order. We just need the right person to file for it.”
“Get her a guardian then.”
“Not that easy. It would take months and a mental or physical reason to have one.”
Ty calmed before he asked, “How does a person get a guardian?”
“The purpose that would best fit Ms. Bellin is to have a court order based on a referral by a psychiatrist claiming she’s incompetent. The court would appoint a guardian. The guardian can petition that she’s an individual at risk against a certain person, Marshall for instance.” Attorney Sabin shook his head. “I don’t see it happening.”
A sly smile escaped Ty’s lessening anger. “I can do that.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, what do you think I did for the last two years when I was recovering from a stroke? I played games. Games on the computer, and not the kind that you buy at the store to download.” Ty rubbed his jaw. “Get me a pass to the computer lab, and I’ll be back in a couple hours with a form making me Brooke’s guardian.”
“Not gonna work.”
“Sure it will. I’ll get the form, scribble a psych’s name on it, and then you call in a quick favor from your buddy the judge. How long will it take to get Marshall the news?”
“If it works, which I doubt, the TRO has to be executed within one day.” Sabin’s mind began to whirl as he realized Ty was serious. If the document appeared authentic, he considered how long it would be until someone figured out the game. Wiping his hand across his forehead, he prayed that it would last long enough to convince Ty to keep his mouth shut.
“Perfect.” Ty locked stares with the district attorney. “Get Marshall away from my wife.”
Sabin adjusted his briefcase under his arm. “She’s not your wife.”
Alexis: Don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win Dawn's book Court of Lies.
If interested in buying her book click here for an immediate download!
And don't forget to stop by next week on Halloween for the introduction of my new blog contributors and some fun prizes. Hint: Halloween is my favorite holiday :-)