I will be better prepared next week to promote other fiction work. But this week, due to the late hour, I will have to use it for shameless self-promotion.
Today's Fiction Friday features my newest release -- A No Good Itch (J.J. McCall Book 4) by S.D. Skye.
1. CAN YOU DESCRIBE WHAT YOUR BOOK IS ABOUT?
A No Good Itch (A J.J. McCall Novel) is Book 3 in my FBI Espionage Series—it will be released December 16th, just in time for Christmas. And the storyline centers around two subjects very near and dear to my heart – Mafia and Spies—Oh my! It’s kind like Covert Affairs and Scandal meet The Sopranos. It picks up where Book 2 left off — FBI J.J. McCall and her co-case agent, Tony Donato, are headed to the Big Apple to take down the financial network that is supporting moles inside the U.S. government. But they have an even bigger problem on their hands. A Russian Mafiya henchman, infamously known as Mashkov, avenges the death of slain a Russian sleeper agent and accidentally hits the son of an Italian crime boss—Tony’s brother. So they are not only have to take down the financial network, they are stepping into a possible war between Russian and Italian organized crime.
Meanwhile, CIA Case Officer Grayson “Six” Chance is in Moscow trying to capture a runaway American who has stolen intelligence from the White House and is planning to pass it to the Russians—putting Six in a moral dilemma he may not be prepared to handle.
Also—readers will FINALLY find out how J.J.’s mother, a former FBI Agent, died in the line of duty. And I’ll just say that, the ending might get me killed, but it’s all for a good cause (to take the series up yet another notch!)
2. WHAT DID YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WRITING THIS BOOK?
The mafia angle, no question. It was a HUGE challenge for me because I’ve never been in the mafia. I wrote this from the outside looking in. It was a true test of my talent, one I won’t be quick to attempt again. But the fact that I pulled it off is pretty exciting. How well I pulled it off? I’ll let the readers decide.
3. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE YOUR BOOK?
I worked at the FBI for 12 years, spending 10 years in counterintelligence. Most fans of the series know by now that the J.J. McCall character is very loosely based on an FBI agent I worked with during my tenure there. This particular book in the series melds together the many areas in which I worked. When I first started out at the Bureau, I worked in the Interstate Theft Unit which, among other violations, handled the tractor trailer thefts perpetrated by La Cosa Nostra around the country. So, Page 4 my first experience was in working Italian Organized Crime organizations. When I moved over to counterintelligence, I started working Russian Organized Crime before I was assigned to Russian intelligence. So, the three plot lines are no coincidence and a lot of the connections, while they may seem far -etched, are actually quite based in reality.
4. GIVE US SOME INSIGHT INTO YOUR MAIN CHARACTERS OR SPEAKERS. WHAT MAKES EACH ONE SO SPECIAL? WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO SIT DOWN AND ACTUALLY START WRITING THIS BOOK? WHY NOW?
My three main characters are FBI Special Agents J.J. McCall and Tony Donato—and CIA Case Officer Grayson Six Chance. J.J. McCall is an African American, female FBI Special Agent. She’s great at her job but is fighting some demons with an alcohol addiction and a mystery surrounding her mother’s death which has been dogging her since Book 1. What’s great about J.J. is that she’s a human lie detector – when people lie to her she feels a sensation akin to an itch, hence the word “Itch” in all of the series’ titles. Tony Donato is also based on an agent that I worked with briefly in New York. He was Italian and the nicest guy, but a good agent. The complexity in his character comes from his background. His father is a mob boss who was convicted and serving time. He broke away from the family and decided to become an FBI agent despite their protests…and of course that has caused major tension in the family, but it also shows how strong minded Tony is. He is J.J. McCall’s primary love interest. Grayson “Six” Chance is the bad boy of the story. He’s J.J.’s ex and a bit of a cowboy, which no doubt comes from the fact that he’s a CIA Case Officer who specializes in Counterintelligence. He has decided he can’t live without J.J. since their break (his fault) so he’s come back with a vengeance to reclaim her heart—of course, causing friction between J.J. and Tony whenever possible. I LOVE these characters. Six is quickly becoming a strong favorite. This book was cathartic for me in some respects. I have very strong views about U.S. National security, and given the NSA disclosures, I needed a way to vent my frustration and anger about that in a productive way without ranting on my blog constantly. So this book and Six’s hunt for the fugitive American in Moscow helped me do just that.
6. WHAT ARE A NO GOOD ITCH’S CENTRAL TOPICS AND THEMES?
I set out to write a book that entertained readers so well they couldn’t put it down, but I think some key themes center around trust in relationships, crime doesn’t pay, and when you’re faced with a moral dilemma, you have to follow your best instinct. Sometimes, it’s easier to do the wrong thing but you will have to live with it--both professional and in life.
7. HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE THE A NO GOOD ITCH?
It took me a little over a year. I started this one immediately after I finished the second book, but I struggled with it. I’d lost my mojo after my mother passed away and this book helped me fight to get it back. So, the struggle was a worthy one. I really fought for this book. Thankfully, it was so much fun to write; the excitement is what kept me going.
8. WHEN YOU’RE NOT WRITING, WHAT ARE YOUR INTERESTS?
The dynamic of my life has completely changed since I began to write books. I used to love doing stuff, although I can’t quite remember what that stuff is now. Ah, yes. Movies. I went to movies. I Page 5 loved dancing. I used to breathe clean air at tree-dense parks while walking the trails. Now, I write. And when I’m done writing, I write some more. But the thing is, I love it. It’s like I opened up a new section of my brain and now I can’t shut it off…but in a good way.
9. WHAT’S NEXT IN THE SERIES?
Book 4—The Crazy Itch—involves a mole in the Pentagon. And the final book in the FBI Espionage series is Book 5—An Itch in Time—which takes us to Langley and the CIA. Will there be more J.J. books after Book 5? I think so. What she’ll be doing in those books, I don’t know, but I kind of feel like Book 5 can’t be the end of these characters altogether.
If you're a mystery, thriller, or suspense author interested in having your book featured on the blog, please send me an email at sdawnskye (at) gmail (dot) com. Send me the title of your book and author name and I will check it out and send you the questions if it fits well with the blog.
10. WHERE CAN I FIND YOUR BOOK?
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Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/S.D.Skye/e/B00AMAUFK8
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