Today it’s my pleasure to feature, Alexis D. Craig, author of The Ex File, Book One in the Behind the Blue Line Series.
Genre: Erotic Suspense, Police Procedural, Hot Romance
Publisher: Hot Ink Press
Date of Publication: 2/7/2015
Number of pages: 148
Word Count: 59,931
Cover Artist: Laura Hidalgo of BookFabulous Designs
Giveaway! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win one of the following: 2 ebook copies of The Ex File, a prize pack containing a tote bag, a hook bookmark with cool charms on it and a book in a bottle pendant open to US Shipping or a $10 Amazon GC.
Second Chances Can Be Lethal
Narcotics Officer, Sean O’Leary is bitter after a messy divorce that has reinforced his solitary nature, leaving him only with his dog and a sword collection. He could never imagine that his former best friend may be the only woman to bring happiness into his lonely life.
Ellie Gardner knows loss; especially after she was banished from her best friend/crush's life by his jealous wife. Although the regret of walking away from the love of her life still stung, a chance encounter with Sean may change everything.
When Ellie and Sean reconnect, they could never expect it'd be in such an explosive way, leaving them both to gain the fulfillment of their 'what if's.
Finding love is hard enough without the past breathing down their necks, especially when said past has no intention of letting go. When Sean's ex, Pia Mastriani returns, Ellie must face her nemesis' relentless tactics to get Sean back, including eliminating Ellie if necessary.
Sean and Ellie’s relationship is put to the test but will they fare well while they go rummaging through The Ex File?
Time to Interview!
What inspired you to write this book?
This story actually came to me as a dream. The whole first chapter was a dream I had that I woke up only long enough to mumble the details into my phone’s voice recorder. I passed back out and woke a few hours later and listened to it. Surprisingly, it was intelligible. After I wrote the first scene, I realized there was a larger story to be told, so I planned it out and went for it.
How did you come up with the title?
I’m an X-Files fan from way back, and that name was kind of the working title from the moment I envisioned the villain.
What made you choose the main setting for your book?
I am a ‘write what you know’ kind of girl, and I know my hometown very well as a result of several jobs where such knowledge was a requirement and my natural curiosity. You see a fair bit of Indianapolis when you read my work.
If you could spend an hour in real life with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
Ellie’s best friend, Josh, is a riot. I modeled him after a dear friend of mine whom I adore beyond reason. Whenever we get together, we tend to find mischief, and I’m sure it would be the same way with Josh.
Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story.
Ellie’s a woman with some longstanding abandonment issues and is not really too sure of herself. She wants to be confident, but it doesn’t feel natural to her. She had a serious crush on her best friend Sean, had pretty much fallen in love with him, only to watch him marry another woman, essentially because she didn’t speak up.
When she and Sean meet back up, she realizes her feelings for him never really went away, even though she did once he got married, and now that he was free, they had a different dynamic between them than simply the friendship of before.
Sean is a bit of a loner. He likes his hobbies, his dog, and his friends sometimes, but he really needed space after his divorce. For his part, he is happy to have his best friend back, and kicking himself in the hind parts because he never saw what was in front of him the whole time. He’s willing to let go of the upset of her leaving before just because she was back now. They have a real shot together and he wants that more than anything.
His ex-wife, Pia, has other ideas. She wants him back, badly. The circumstances of their divorce are of little interest to her now, because he’s hers. It doesn’t matter what it takes, no one says ‘no’ to her and means it.
The intersections of these three characters form the conflict that escalates to open warfare, with casualties on all sides.
Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.
In The Ex File, you meet a smooth-talking character named Nico. He’s the kind of guy that incinerates the panties off all hetero women in the immediate vicinity. He comes from a solid family and enjoys his work, but isn’t looking to settle down.
Then he meets Nahia Wellington. Retired witch, shopkeep, and part-time ghost hunter, she is so far beyond any woman he’s met and his intrigue with her is off the charts.
Their story, the next in the Blue Line Series, is called Dead and Disorderly and comes out on May 23rd of this year.
Did you enjoy writing one scene above all the rest? If so, share.
It’s hard to pick just one scene. The reader’s introduction to Josh was pretty fun. I love interjecting comedy and levity into a fairly serious scene because that’s life. Nothing is so serious all the time.
What sources do you use for research?
I live to research. Learning new things is in my Top 3 of ‘Favorite Things to Do’, along with Travel to Interesting Places and Eating Local Cuisine, and Ghost Hunting. I worship at the altar of Google, and will read any and everything on a subject until I understand as many sides of it as are available. I also love to talk to people. You find someone who loves their work/hobby/random thing you need to know and you ask them, and you take notes. For The Ex File, I took a detective friend to lunch one day and picked his brain for over an hour, going over potential scenes I wanted to do for accuracy and feasibility, and when we were done and I still had questions, he hooked me up with someone who could answer them. I did about three hours of research that resulted in about 50 pages of story. It was excellent.
Do you prefer to write short stories, novellas or novels? Why?
I’ve come to the conclusion I may be constitutionally incapable of writing a short story. Short for me is like 40K. I have a collection of shorter stuff, vignettes and things, but those were collected over a few years that I submitted as a collection. I’m generally not given to writing something under 100 pages. I’m not sure why that is, but I’m comfortable with it.
Tempting fate, he cupped her cheek, heartened when she didn’t turn away from him. “I may be a lot of things,” he started, “but I’m not that kind of bastard. That much I can promise.”
“But you didn’t call.” Her voice was small, full of confusion and accusation even as she hooked her fingers through his belt loops.
Sean rested his forehead against hers, feeling the heat of her whiskey breath against his lips. “You said you were going to call me right before you ran out the door the other morning.” He hoped that by showing the parity of their situations, it would make her feel better.
“I didn’t run.” Ellie tilted her head back to look him in the eye, “I walked, with dignity and great haste.” She held a straight face for only a moment before breaking into a quiet chuckle.
He could feel himself grinning like an idiot. He nuzzled his nose against hers. “Fine, you left with great haste.”
She turned her face away and mumbled something that sounded like, “I didn’t know what else to do.”
“Eleanor,” he purred as he placed a finger under chin and turned her face to his. She looked… scared? Ashamed? It was several shades of emotion at once, and he wanted nothing more than to hug her as tight as he could to make them go away. “El. You know what I did last week?” She shook her head. He licked his lips and laughed slightly. “I arrested a couple hookers, did some buys. Hung out with Guinness. Went a little nuts on eBay for a couple antique swords. It’s an exciting life I lead, huh?”
Ellie’s eyes fell from his to his lips, finally landing on his chest. “I’m sorry for doubting you.”
Sean threaded his fingers through her hair as he pressed a gentle kiss to her forehead. “No, don’t apologize. We’re both kinda new at this.” When she looked back up at him, she looked like she was about to cry. That wouldn’t do at all. He brushed his lips across hers, pleased to see the surprise in her eyes. “We’ll work it out.”
She reached up and tucked his bangs behind his ear, her fingertips igniting little sparks against his skin as she trailed them down his neck to his shoulder. “I’m sure we will.” When she arched up into him as she kissed him, he knew the heaven he’d experienced the other night hadn’t been imagined.
Her fingers wound in his hair, the way her breath caught when he bit her neck, her leg hooked around his, damn, he hadn’t realized how much he’d missed this.
The knock at the door broke them apart for only a second. She looked at the door, and the clock on the stove, before pulling him tight against her again. “Wrong house. They’ll figure it out.”
That was all the permission to continue he needed, grabbing her by the waist and lifting her onto the counter. Stepping between her legs, he dropped his hand to her knee, moving it slowly up her thigh and dragged her dress with it. Ellie tugged at the collar and sleeves of his button down shirt, until he stopped only long enough to toss it into the living room over the half-wall.
He framed her face in his hands and peppered her lips with tiny kisses and nibbles as she wrapped her legs around his waist and pressed herself as close to him as she could be while still dressed.
The banging on the front door recommenced, this time with the familiar timber of a cop on a mission. “Eleanor Gardner. Open the door now or I’m coming in there.”
About the Author
Alexis is a writer with a couple of day jobs. Working for two different police agencies, it's a juggling act to find time to write.
She is also an aunt, godmother, avid cyclist, serial hobbyist, ghost hunter, and collector of stray animals. Her husband is a loving, patient man.
The author of Imminent Danger, Undercover Seduction, and Give Me Shelter with Lachesis Press, and she has three more novels coming out in 2015, The Ex File on February 7th, Dead and Disorderly on May 23rd, and Bulletproof Princess on August 8th from Hot Ink Press.