Friday, March 27, 2015

Protection Detail and Q&A with author Shirlee McCoy

Q&A with Shirlee McCoy 

1. PROTECTION DETAIL is the latest in the Capitol K-9 Unit Series. Where did you get the idea for incorporating lawmen and their canine partners?

The series was thought out and put together by Harlequin. I’m the first of six authors asked to participate in the series. I can’t tell you how excited I was to hear that we were doing a K-9 Unit series! The other authors and I worked closely together to connect the books and the characters.

2. The heroine, Cassie, is a foster mother. What is your special connection to her?

My youngest daughter was adopted. We met her when she was seven. She’d been in an orphanage in China for three years and then in foster care there for four. My husband and I were able to meet her foster family in a hotel room in China. I’ll never forget the way Lizzie hugged the little girl she’d spent four years raising. It broke my heart and filled it. I was so happy to see that my daughter had been loved, and so sad to realize that Lizzie and Qian would probably never see each other again. When I wrote Cassie’s character, I spent a lot of time thinking about that moment. I thought about the care and love that had been poured onto a child who would be adopted and loved by someone else. What a beautiful and astounding thing that is. It takes very special people to foster children, and I wanted to do Cassie’s character justice. Hopefully, I did!

3. What first draws Gavin and Cassie together?
Gavin is working on a case that brings him in contact with Cassie. Cassie is leery of police officers, so Gavin has his work cut out for him! He’s a by the book guy, but he can’t keep from falling for Cassie. They were such fun characters!

4. What inspired you to start writing romantic suspense?
I have always loved the genre. My mother is a huge fan of gothic romance, and she let me read her books when I was a young teen. I cut my teeth on Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart, and I still love a good gothic novel. I think romantic suspense was just a natural progression of that love.

5. How do you come up with the names for your characters?
I often use names of people that I know. Or, I’ll use quirky names that aren’t very common. I love fitting the name with the character’s personality, and that can be a challenge. Once or twice, I’ve changed a name a few chapters into a book because it just didn’t seem to fit.

6. Do you have any say in the design of your book covers?
I give cover ideas and send photos to my editor. These are used to help design the book.

7. Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A pantser who has had to learn to be a plotter? I sell on proposal now, so I have had to learn to outline my books before I write them. It often takes me as long to write the synopsis and first few chapters as it does to write the book! I’d like to say that I follow the outline closely once I finish it, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! I tend to write the synopsis and then go on my merry way being a pantser and writing whatever comes into my head. So….maybe I am both.

8. How would you describe your writing style?
I’m like a truck driver. I push through to the end. No veering off onto other roads or taking little side trips. I have a goal and I stick to it. I don’t go back and edit until I’ve completed the first draft. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad one, but it works for me.

9. If PROTECTION DETAIL was turned into a movie, which Hollywood actors would you cast for your characters and why?
Oh. Wow. Can I say that I have no idea?! I watch documentaries on the history channel or cooking shows on the cooking channel. And, I read books. The last movie I watched was…I don’t even remember! :0)

10. What are you working on next?
The fourth book in my Mission: Rescue series. The heroine’s name is Harper, and the hero is Logan. She’s a potter, and he’s a hostage rescue specialist. They make an interesting and challenging pair!

About the author:

SHIRLEE MCCOY knew early that she wanted to write inspirational fiction and began writing her first novel when she was a teenager. Still, it wasn't until her third son was born that she truly began pursuing her dream of being published. Three years later she sold her first book.

Now a busy mother of four, Shirlee is a homeschool mom by day and an inspirational author by night. She and her husband and children live in Maryland and share their home with a dog and a guinea pig.

Praise for Shirlee McCoy:

“McCoy packs a lot of action into a short amount of time. The well-crafted characters show that struggles can often lead to a reward.” – RT Book Reviews

“Shirlee McCoy's writing style flows smoothly and this is a very easy story to get lost in.” –Fresh Fiction

“McCoy’s writing is descriptive and contains a well-balanced blend of action and romance.” – RT Book Reviews

Title:  Protection Detail
Series:  Capitol K-9 Unit #!
Author:  Shirlee McCoy
Published:  March 1/15 by Love Inspired
Length:  224pgs
Genre:  romantic suspense
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:


After a prominent senator's son is murdered, Capitol K-9 Unit captain Gavin McCord wants answers. The senator was a mentor to Gavin, and he'll stop at nothing to bring the killer to justice. With his team of elite K-9 cops and his loyal dog, Glory, at his side, Gavin discovers that a child at Cassie Danvers's nearby foster home may have witnessed the murder. He's drawn to the determined and beautiful woman, but she doesn't want him interviewing her traumatized charges. Yet trusting Gavin is the only way to stay one step ahead of the deadly gunman when Cassie becomes a target.

Capitol K-9 Unit: These lawmen solve the toughest cases with the help of their brave canine partners.

My Review:

Emotions and suspense both run high in this one of a kind romantic suspense. The intricately crafted plot draws readers deep into the complex world that the author has created. McCoy drops bits of scenery into everything that happens, until readers can picture the entire world. Even though this title is from Harlequin’s Love Inspired line & you can easily see the presence of God in the lives of the characters, McCoy doesn’t go over the top with it, nor does she try to hide it. It’s the perfect balance for all readers. It also adds sweetness to the romance itself. This story is about falling in love, the real, lasting kind, not about falling in lust.

I found that the working canine aspect added a great deal to the tale. It took the concept of law enforcement hero to a whole new level. This made the already loveable male lead into a man with even greater depth. His caring and compassion for others was backed up by the aura of competence and reassurance brought by an officer of the law. Combined with a female lead who’s had a difficult life and an even more difficult few days and you have a couple who will turn heads. I loved the strength of character in the female lead. She stood up for those in her ‘family’ beyond all else. I appreciate how McCoy takes the time to develop the world of the foster children that we meet. They aren’t simply a backdrop to the story but real individuals with real (and heartbreakingly realistic) stories of their own.

As a whole, this was a remarkably complex tale that combined suspense with real romance. McCoy will capture your heart, your emotions, and your imagination.

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