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Monday, July 28, 2014

Interview and Giveaway with Alexa Grace


Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.

I began my writing journey as Alexa Grace in March 2011 when the Sr. Director of Training & Development position I'd held for thirteen years was eliminated. A door closed but another one opened. I finally had the time to pursue my childhood dream of writing books. My focus is now on writing riveting romantic suspense novels including my popular Deadly Series (DEADLY OFFERINGS, DEADLY RELATIONS DEADLY RELATIONS, and DEADLY HOLIDAY.  I became a USA Today Bestselling Author in 2013.
Readers are describing my new romantic suspense Profile Series (PROFILE OF EVIL and PROFILE OF TERROR) as "edge of your seat reading from page one to the end".  PROFILE OF FEAR is coming in 2015.  My books are in ebook and print formats.

I currently live in Florida with my daughter and five Miniature Schnauzers, three of which are rescues.   As a writer, I am fueled by Starbucks lattes, chocolate and communicating with my street team and readers.

Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

My new release PROFILE OF TERROR, Book Two in my Profile Series, is a thrill ride of non-stop suspense with a healthy dose of passion and a pinch of humor.  Here's a short book description.

A missing coed named Abby Reece.

Two clever thrill killers are committing the most brutal, public, and horrifying abductions and murders in the county’s history.  The killers, known as the Gamers, have done this before, and are now upping their evil game to a new level.  The question is — can they be stopped before they kill again?
Things get complicated.

When an ex-girlfriend goes missing, Private Investigator Gabe Chase is obsessed with finding her.  But once her naked and posed body is discovered, the investigator becomes the investigated.  His passion for the victim’s beautiful sister is a complication he doesn't need, as he helps solve the county’s most baffling, terrifying murder cases ever.

Add a sociopathic serial killer who calls himself the Master.

A serial killer so deadly, the FBI’s behavioral analysts want to know when and why he began killing, as well as the identification and location of additional victims.  He will speak only to former federal agent, Carly Stone, a woman he blames for his capture.  When the profiler finds herself at the mercy of this ruthless killer, his becomes the most terrifying profile of all.
Profile of Terror

Three chilling villains, two passionate love stories, and pulse-racing suspense with startling plot twists keep readers on the edge of their seats from page one of this heart-pounding and unforgettable romantic suspense.

Are you a mom?
Yes, I have a daughter, Melissa, and I have five Miniature Schnauzer fur-kids.

If yes do you find it hard to juggle writing and parenting?

Nope.  My daughter is an adult and she works as my author assistant.  By taking care of the marketing, etc., she enables me to spend more time writing.

Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?

I hope I am successful in communicating that women need to take measures to make sure they are safe at all times.   In DEADLY DECEPTION, my character, Frankie Douglas, teaches a women's self-defense class.  Her message in this scene is the importance of the 'leave-me-the-hell-alone' body language” when women are out alone in public.  Here is another lesson Frankie taught: 
"Another woman asked, "What if the worst happens and you are the victim of a carjacker?"
"For one thing, you don't consider yourself a victim — ever.  Right?  My best girlfriend was abducted last year and she did what I'd do if it happened to me.  She was scared, but she kept her wits about her.  She was driving and knew she was protected by a seat belt as well as an airbag.  Her attacker was in the backseat pressing a gun to her cheek and wasn’t protected by either.  She rammed her SUV into a large tree.  The impact sent her attacker flying over the seat into the dash and knocking him unconscious long enough for her to escape."

In PROFILE OF TERROR, character Carly Stone teaches Frankie's self-defense course since Frankie has just given birth. Carly teaches how critical it is for women to be acutely aware of their surroundings at all time.  Here is a scene from the book:
"A woman sitting next to Kaitlyn raised her hand.  Carly recognized her as a waitress from Mollie's cafĂ©.  "I've heard that jerks who attack women look for certain things before they make their move.  Is that true?"
"Yes." Carly said, nodding her head.  "Just like predators in the wild, human predators have a mental process for choosing their victims.  One of the things they favor is women wearing a ponytail or braid because it can be easily grabbed.  Clothing on women that predators prefer are short skirts, which can be easy for them to remove or push up, or anything with straps, like a camisole, that can be cut." 
Carly turned to write on the whiteboard behind her with a black marker.  She wrote "Don't look like a victim."  Facing the class again, she was pleased to see most of the women taking notes.
"When you are out in public, don't look like a victim.  Try to stay in areas with more people, and walk with a purpose, with confidence.  Predators go after the weak, so make sure your facial expression says, 'Don't mess with me.'"
On the whiteboard, Carly wrote "Always be aware of your surroundings." 
"That means don't allow technology to distract you.  One thing I hate to see is a woman jogging, listening to her iPod, seemingly lost in the music.  Please don't do this.  Pay attention at all times to what is going on around you.  Don't talk on your cell or listen to your iPod when you're alone in a public place.  Do a three-hundred-and-sixty-degree assessment.  Know who is in your immediate vicinity at all times."
The waitress raised her hand to ask another question.  "I usually get off work late at night.  Would you please talk a bit about car safety?"
"Absolutely," Carly said.  "Predators target places where you park your car, during the daytime as well as at night.  One thing you should do to proactively protect yourself is to have your keys in your hand."  She picked up her own keys.  "I like to thread each key between my fingers like this, so my keys become a weapon if needed.  Take out your keys and try this."

Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why?

The sexual sadist, serial killer, Jim Ryder in both Profile of Evil and PROFILE OF TERROR has been the most challenging to write because his character required so much research.  I was determined that his character, behaviors, and actions be credible so I researched by learning the behaviors and motivations of sexual sadist serial killers, reading books written by profilers, discussing scenes with my subject matter experts, and doing extensive Internet research.   This research was also needed so I could write an accurate profile for my profiler, former FBI agent, Carly Stone, character.
In this excerpt from PROFILE OF TERROR, Carly is tasked by the FBI with interviewing Jim Ryder and get him into a dialog about his personality, background, and development.  The information is useful for the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit to understand when and why he started killing.
"Let's start by talking a bit about your childhood.  What was it like?  Where did you grow up?"
"Seriously?  Are you trying to shrink me?" 
"Not at all," Carly insisted, meeting him eye-to-eye.
"Fine. I grew up in a small town in Ohio.  My dad was a high school principal, and Mom was a nurse.  Is that what you wanted to know?"
"No kidding," Carly said. "I heard you and your sister, Erin, grew up in Francis, Utah, as a member of the Dawson family.  Your father was the town drunk, and your mother was a weak-willed woman who did nothing to protect her children from his beatings."
Ryder looked as if she'd slapped him across the face.  He stared fiercely at her from across the table.
"So let's start over.  Tell me about your childhood."
Ryder exploded.  "What the **** does my childhood have to do with the additional victims I agreed to talk about?"
In her calmest, most soothing voice, Carly said, "It would really help me to understand your side of things if you'd give me some information about your background.  I just want to get to know you better before we move on to the subject of additional victims."
A suggestion of annoyance mixed with distrust hovered in his eyes as he spoke.  "I grew up in Francis, Utah.  Yeah, my father was the town drunk.  He was a mean, merciless man who took pleasure in beating up his family, among other things."
"What other things?"     

If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?

I am in the research phase of my next book PROFILE OF FEAR (Book #3 of the Profile Series) to be released in 2015.  The book involves human trafficking so I am reading a lot of information on how traffickers operate.  The information is interesting but terrifying at the same time. 


What book are you reading now?

I am reading James Patterson's new book INVISIBLE which has to be his most chilling stand-alone book ever.  FBI research analyst, Emmy Dockery finds the link between hundreds of unsolved murder cases — but no one will believe her.  Add her ex, field agent Books Bookman and the two races against time to catch the prolific killer.  Lots of suspense and twists and turns.  My kind of book.

What is in your to read pile?

Waiting for me in my TBR pile are:
  • THE COLLECTOR by Nora Roberts
  • SHIVER by Karen Robards
  • KILL SHOT by Lilianna Hart
  • RAZING KAYNE by Julieanne Reeves


Profile of Terror
Profile Series
Book Two
Alexa Grace

Genre:  Romantic Suspense

Publisher:  Golden Publishing, L.L.C.

Date of Publication: May 2014

ISBN-10: 0985593962
ISBN-13: 978-0-9855939-6-4
ASIN: B00KAMWA7Y

Number of pages: 263
Word Count: 80,583

Cover Artist:  Christy Carlyle of Gilded Heart Design

Book Description:

A missing coed named Abby Reece.

Two clever thrill killers are committing the most brutal, public, and horrifying abductions and murders in the county’s history.  The killers, known as the Gamers, have done this before, and are now upping their evil game to a new level.  The question is — can they be stopped before they kill again?

Things get complicated.

When an ex-girlfriend goes missing, Private Investigator Gabe Chase is obsessed with finding her.  But once her naked and posed body is discovered, the investigator becomes the investigated.  His passion for the victim’s beautiful sister is a complication he doesn't need, as he helps solve the county’s most baffling, terrifying murder cases ever.

Add a sociopathic serial killer who calls himself the Master.

A serial killer so deadly, the FBI’s behavioral analysts want to know when and why he began killing, as well as the identification and location of additional victims.  He will speak only to former federal agent, Carly Stone, a woman he blames for his capture.  When the profiler finds herself at the mercy of this ruthless killer, his becomes the most terrifying profile of all.

Profile of Terror

Three chilling villains, two passionate love stories, and pulse-racing suspense with startling plot twists keep readers on the edge of their seats from page one of this heart-pounding and unforgettable romantic suspense.

Book Trailer:  http://youtu.be/wZKSJmrHrRM   

Available at   Amazon US  Amazon UK  Amazon CA   Amazon AU   BN


Excerpt #3
At one in the morning, the dark sky was illuminated by a full moon as they drove on a country road, trees hanging overhead like skeletal arms, nearly touching their vehicle.  Driving slowly, they made periodic stops, for only the perfect place would do.
Approaching a bridge over a deep ravine with a wide creek, the van stopped.  Both got out and circled to the back of the white utility van, where they pulled out a young woman's body, already stiffening with rigor mortis.  They carried her to the edge of the road, where they set down her corpse, gave it a push, and sent it rolling down the ravine until it landed on the rocky creek bed below.  Hands on hips, they waited and watched the body at rest, as if they expected it to magically come to life and run away.
"I wonder how long it will take the cops to find this one." The driver chuckled as he followed his passenger to the back of the van.
"Good question.  The one last winter wasn't found until the spring thaw."  He flipped through a stack of magnetic business signs he'd collected in the back of the vehicle.  Choosing one, he slapped it on the side of the van and climbed inside.
"So how many magnetic signs do we have now?"
"Fifteen or so.  We've got signs for plumbing, locksmithing, house painting, and general repair businesses. Think we need more?"
"No." He shook his head.  "You did a good job stealing those.  Even if we have an eye witness tonight, they'll describe a business truck, complete with a name and phone number the cops will use to try to track down their suspects. Too bad it will be a dead end.  Any time we can toy with the cops is a good time."
"Agreed," he said, as a slow, evil smile spread across his handsome face.
Devan Roth glanced at his twin brother, Evan, sitting in the passenger seat, and thought about how much Evan craved his praise.  He'd used that need to his advantage their entire lives.  It wasn't that Devan didn't love his twin.  He did, but he loved manipulating him more.  Although Evan had a higher intelligence level than Devan ever dreamed of reaching, Evan's adoration for his twin was his weak spot.  And if there was anything that Devan could identify from a mile away, it was someone else's weakness.  That's what made Devan the leader.
From early childhood, he could get Evan to do absolutely anything he wanted.  Devan invented the "Double Dare" game when the twins were twelve; he double-dared Evan to jump off the second-story roof. Evan leaped, and broke both his legs.  But he never told their parents that Devan had dared him to do it.  His loyalty to his twin outweighed the pain he suffered that summer.
The Double Dare game continued.  Early on, they stole and killed their neighbors' pets, and then moved on to peeping in windows in the neighborhood and videotaping the event so they could relive the thrill later.  Now they were abducting and killing prostitutes, then disposing of their bodies in remote areas surrounding Indianapolis.

About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling Author, Alexa Grace began her writing journey in March 2011 when the Sr. Director of Training & Development position she'd held for thirteen years was eliminated. A door closed but another one opened. She finally had the time to pursue her childhood dream of writing books. Her focus is now on writing riveting romantic suspense novels.

Alexa Grace is consistently listed in top twenty of Amazon's Top 100 Most Popular Authors in the categories Romantic Suspense and Police Procedural.  In 2013, she was named one of the top 100 Indie authors by Kindle Review. A chapter is devoted to her in the book Interviews with Indie Authors by C. Ridgway and T. Ridgway.

Her books Deadly Offerings, Deadly Deception, and Deadly Relations are listed in e-retailer's Top 100 Bestselling Romantic Suspense and Police Procedural Books.  Deadly Offerings has not left the top ten bestselling free mystery romance and police procedural books since 2011.

Deadly Holiday, published in November 2012, is her holiday-themed romantic suspense novella, featuring all her Deadly Trilogy characters.

Alexa Grace's book Deadly Relations is included in the bestselling book set The Perfect Ten along with Dianna Love, Norah Wilson, Nancy Naigle, Andrienne Giordano, Misty Evans, Sandy Blair, Mary Buckham, Tonya Kappes and Micah Caipa.

Profile of Evil, the first book of the Profile Series was published in May 2013. Profile of Terror was released in May 2014  and Profile of Fear will be released in 2015.

Earning two degrees from Indiana State University, Alexa currently lives in Florida. She's a member of Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Her writing support team includes five Miniature Schnauzers, three of which are rescues. As a writer, she is fueled by Starbucks lattes, chocolate and emails from readers.

You can visit her website at - http://www.alexa-grace.net/

Subscribe to her newsletter at - http://eepurl.com/sJ-Df


Tweet her - @AlexaGrace2






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9 comments:

Trin Chambora said...

Great books great contests and a whole lot of fun:)

Heather Coulter said...

Had a blast following this tour. Lots of great blogs.

Sharing my love of Alexa Grace's writing.

Lynne M Costa said...

Alexa Grace is a great read.

Kyrulz said...

Awesome interview....Love these books

Diana Tan said...

I love all of Alexa Grace's books. I am looking forward to Profile of Fear to be released.

Grannymama said...

Love Alexa Grace's books. One of the best for romantic suspense. The Profile series will keep you hooked from beginning to end.

Susan Faatz said...

Alexa Grace is a fantastic author and this book is a must read.

Jackie said...

Love Alexa's books!

stirewaltt said...

Love this series. She is a great author and I can't wait to read the next one.