Sunday, October 18, 2015

High Country Hideout & Q&A with author Elle James

Q&A with author Elle James

1.) What compelled you to start writing the Covert Cowboys Inc series?
I love cowboys. They are strong, have a terrific work-ethic, loyal and fight for justice. I also wanted to give men who were down a second chance to make a difference. So, I created a man with money who’d experienced tragedy, was a cowboy and wanted to make a difference and put him on the road to recruiting cowboys who needed another chance. Love this series and the heroes within!

2.) Can you bring us up to speed with the characters in High Country Hideout?
Angus Ketchum was first and foremost a cowboy. When he was wounded in the war, he didn’t think he could ever again do the things he loved until Hank Derringer hired him to protect a ranch owner in Colorado. Reggie Davis is a determined mother, rancher and provider for her young son. Widowed early on, she’s fighting to protect her son’s heritage. But someone is trying to drive her off her ranch. She needs help.

3.) What are some of your favorite suspense books/television shows?
For thrillers and suspense, I love books by Tami Hoag, Robert Crais, Clive Cussler and James Patterson. I enjoy watching Castle, 24 and Longmire. As for movies, give me James Bond, Bourne Identity and Mission Impossible. The bigger the action, the better. I also like to watch action adventure like Sahara, Tomb Raider, Romancing the Stone and National Treasure. Give me a movie with Daniel Craig and I’m there!

4.) What is one thing that you absolutely need while writing?
I’m really trying to cut back, but I’m a Diet Dr. Pepper fan and I need my cup of ice and Diet Dr. Pepper before I can start for the day. I can write at my office desk or with my laptop. Where I write doesn’t matter as long as I have uninterrupted time. I can’t play music, or I sing along, which is not conducive to my word-count. But I do like to have my muses (Chewy, the Yorkie and Sweetpea, the malti-poo) settled in the doggie beds behind me, sleeping peacefully. They keep me sane and give me unconditional love.

5.) If you could fan cast Angus and Reggie, which actors would you choose?
Charlize Theron because she can be so tough and so tender and sensuous.

Mark Wahlberg for Angus, because he’s tough and can work his way through any hardship. Loved him in Lone Survivor!

6.) What was the first romance novel that you ever read?
I can’t remember a specific book because I started reading romance when I was thirteen. Mom would bring home bags of Harlequins from the library. I read all summer. I can remember loving historicals by Barbara Cartland and Georgette Heyer. I liked all subgenres within romance because I could escape into another world and come out satisfied with a happy ending.

7.) Without giving away too much, what’s your favorite scene in High Country Hideout?
I always love the big bad, final scene where you think everything is lost and the characters won’t come out alive. The situation is intense, the emotions run high. My fingers fly across the keyboard during those scenes!

8.) What’s the best response you’ve ever received from a fan?
I love it when I go to book signings and a fan comes up to me all excited and jumping up and down. I always look behind me, thinking she’s excited about another author. When she says she loves my books, I take it as a huge compliment and give big hugs. Makes my day!

9.) Do you have any author conferences or book signings in the near future?
I’ll be at the KallypsoCon in Nashua, New Hampshire Oct 28-31. This is a really small conference dedicated to military romances. Readers are welcome to come spend some one-on-one time with seven military romance authors.

10.) What are you working on next?
I’m writing fast and furious on SEAL Captive, my April 2016 Harlequin Intrigue. It’s based in Cancun where some of my SEAL team is on vacation. Those poor men can’t catch a break! Where they go, trouble follows. Be sure to stay tuned for Sawyer’s story!

About the author:

Award-winning author ELLE JAMES grew up as an air force military brat. She received her work ethic from her father, her creative streak from her mother and inspiration from her writing partner and sister.

A former member of the Army Reserve and a current member of the Air Force Reserve, she's traveled across the US and Germany, managed a full-time job, and raised three wonderful children. She and her husband even tried their hands at ranching exotic birds (ostriches, emus and rheas). Ask her, and she'll tell you what it's like to go toe-to-toe with an angry 350 pound bird and live to tell about it.

Praise for Elle James:

“James builds up the suspense from page one and doesn’t let readers down with the complicated, open-ended climax.” –RT Book Reviews

“Elle James gives us another great read in her Covert Cowboy Series.” –Fresh Fiction

“When I pick up a book from Ellen James, I know I’m in for an adventure.” –Goodreads Reviewer

“We all know that a man in uniform is hard to resist, especially with Elle James at the controls!” –Amazon Reviewer

“Elle James has written a story of friendship and love against a backdrop of trauma and loss. To find one’s soul mate in a world at war with itself says something about the human spirit and the fight to go on.” –Barnes & Noble Reviewer

Title:  High Country Hideout
Series:  Covert Cowboys, Inc. #7
Author:  Elle James
Publication Date:  September 15/15 by Harlequin
Length:  240pgs
Genre:  western romantic suspense
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Ranching was Angus Ketchum’s first love - until his last tour of duty shattered that dream. The wounded ex-soldier gets his second chance when he’s recruited to go undercover to protect a widowed ranch owner. But from the moment he meets Reggie Davis, Angus can tell holding onto her land and keeping her young son safe is taking its toll. Especially when someone threatens her livelihood and her life. As the attacks escalate, Angus must rely on his combat skills to keep Reggie and her boy alive. And he must rely on his commitment to the mission to keep their powerful attraction in check.

My Review:

James re-enters the world of CCI with a flash and flair that instantly drew me in. Her seamless narrative created a backdrop and intricate story that I found myself coming back to time and time again. Character and world building was intricate but slow for the first few chapters, and then the entire story picked itself up. I found myself equally interested in the suspense of the who-dun-it as in the chemistry between the main characters.

Even better than the suspense of the tale was the characters who brought it forward. Both main characters here were genuine individuals that I found myself wanting to get to know better. Their pasts were full of the good and the bad. Seeing them come together was both heart-warming and enriching. At the same time, I loved how James didn’t make it easy, all the while developing the individuals that we met in quite unique ways. The dialogue was so natural. James really nails conversations in a way that brings her characters from good to great. I couldn’t help but be caught up in their interpersonal byplays.

This is one of those novels that takes from the series that came before it while also standing completely on its own. James has created a suspenseful yet romantic tale that combines love, loss, redemption, and moving on with the wonders of ranch life. It’s a tale that I thoroughly enjoyed reading and that I will definitely be recommending to others.

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