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Archive for November 4th, 2010

No one knows the patterns and nuances of communication like forensic linguist Macy Reid. She is also an expert on kidnapping, having experienced firsthand the stark terror of being abducted when she was a child. So she is the perfect investigator to be called in when a Denver tycoon’s eleven-year-old daughter is abducted—for the second time.

The biggest stumbling block for Macy may be a member of her own team: Kellan Burke, the wisecracking, rule-breaking investigator who relishes getting under Macy’s skin. Their styles couldn’t be more different; the attraction between them more explosive. And when it becomes apparent that Macy can’t solve the case without confronting the demons from her past, Kell is just the man to take her there—and back.

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Thanks, Fatin, for having me back on the blog to discuss my newest release, DEADLY INTENT!  I was thrilled and excited when my editor asked for three more Mindhunters books.  Deadly Intent is book 4 and continues to follow investigators for Raiker’s Forensics as they consult with law enforcement on urgent high profile crimes.

And it doesn’t come more urgent than a child kidnapping.

I was a bit squeamish about telling this story, despite its insistent demand in my imagination.  Readers don’t like books about children in danger, I told myself.  They aren’t going to want to hear about the trauma eleven-year-old Ellie Mulder has encountered in her short life.  Sure I write dark romantic suspense, but how dark is too dark?  I toyed with going in a different direction with it.  Changing it completely.  But the character of Ellie wouldn’t let me.  She insisted on being heard.

She refused to be a victim.

This is the first time in thirty books that a secondary character has taken over like that.  I’ve had minor skirmishes with a hero or heroine who wanted to dictate their storyline along the way.  Usually we work out a compromise 🙂 .  But Ellie is too young to have learned the art of give and take.  So with a lot of self-doubt and trepidation, I began to write this story.  And fell a little more in love with it with every chapter.

Ellie wasn’t the only one who revealed a stubborn streak as I wrote the story.  The heroine, Macy Reid, didn’t turn out to be the quiet unassuming character I had first thought either.  Turns out she’s used to being underestimated.  People meeting her for the first time are charmed by her quiet competent air and faint British accent.  They don’t see the strength beneath.  They don’t suspect the sort of trauma in her past that has forged it.

Kellan Burke comes head to head with that strength over the course of the story.  He hasn’t been able to get their one-night stand six months ago out of his head.  It might be pride—he’s used to female attention, after all—but he hasn’t been able to forget her.  The investigation requires them to work closely together, and being a multi-tasker 🙂  he’s more than up to the challenge of working the case and working to shred Macy’s defenses at the same time.  Except that the more he learns of the woman the more intrigued he becomes.  He wants to protect her at all costs, but learns that a person can’t be protected from their past.  They can only be supported as they confront it.

It occurs to me that if there’s one common theme running through this book, it’s the danger of underestimating people.  Colorado Bureau of Investigation Assistant Director Calvin Whitman makes that mistake with Kell.  He sees only the rogue wise-cracker and doesn’t recognize the keen mind beneath until it’s almost too late.  Kell, in turn doesn’t immediately realize that Macy is far more than a delicate English rose born with a silver spoon.

And as for Ellie…no one suspects the sort of courage a young girl can exhibit when she’s already been to hell and back.  Or how the chilling circumstances of her captivity can wind up bringing her a bit of closure…and healing.

Since I’m not a plotter, it goes without saying that I love to be surprised by developments in my stories.  Ellie surprised me time and again!  Do you like your characters to follow a predictable pattern of development or do you enjoy twists along the way?  How have you been surprised by your favorite author’s story people?


Readers can read an excerpt of Deadly Intent on my site at http://kyliebrant.com/current_excerpts.html#intent

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Thank you to Kylie for joining us today! For more information on Kylie and her books, please visit her website.

Today’s giveaway is (for U.S. and Canada) an autographed book from Kylie. This giveaway is also open to readers in any country that Book Depository delivers to. To be entered, leave a comment answering Kylie’s question. Good luck! 😀

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