Happy Monday all! Living in the DC area, I’ve met lots of wonderful people who just happen to also be fabulous romance writers! My guest today is a fellow Washington Romance Writers member and I am so thrilled to be helping her celebrate her very first release! Please help me welcome debut author Laura Welling. Check out our mini-interview and a peek at her brand new book…
Me: What do you love about the opening scene of your book?
Laura: It’s scary, and I love to put chills down a reader’s spine. To me, coming home to find your apartment has been broken into is pretty terrifying…and then to realize it’s been done by the sinister group you’ve spent your whole life running away from makes it even worse!
Me: What is one awesome thing about where you’re at in life right now?
Laura: This book, being my first, is the achievement of a dream I’ve had since I was four years old. Can’t say better than that!
Me: My favorite part of a book is what the characters say to each other. What is your favorite exchange of dialogue in your book and why do you love it?
I curled up my fists by my sides. “Listen. I didn’t choose to go on the run, or to hide from the authorities. I’d like nothing more than to have a quiet, safe, law-abiding life in the suburbs. You’re a criminal. I am not that kind of person.”
“You keep telling yourself that,” he said abruptly, his face darkening. “Who you are, who you think you are, and who you want to be aren’t always the same thing.” He walked over and opened the passenger side door for me. “Are you coming on the lam? Or are you and your law-abiding alter ego going to wait for the bus?”
“Would you really leave me out here in the desert?” I asked. How much of a bad boy was he? Had I, like an idiot, put my life in the wrong man’s hands?
“Don’t be bloody stupid,” he said. “Of course not.” He walked away from the car, and came right up close to me, close enough I could feel his breath on my face. “Listen. You’ve said you want to help Eric. You’ve said you want to get the Greys off your back. You’ve come this far, broken into a crime scene, lied to the cops, run from Ryder. Why are you getting cold feet now?”
He put one hand on my shoulder. “Are you serious about this? Because I am. This is my mission, and I’ll do what needs doing to save Eric’s life or the lives of those around him. Whether that’s legal or not, I have to trust my judgment, and you’re going to have to trust it too. Are you ready for this, Cat? What are you prepared to do?”
His face softened as he saw the tears I blinked back frantically. He lifted one hand to brush a stray drop from below my eye. “It’s mighty dusty out here,” he said, and took a step back. Then he added, softly, “Are you in?”
I may have been a fool, but I knew he was right, on every count, much as it pained me to admit it to myself. It would be a cold day in hell before I said that to Jamie though.
“I’m coming,” I said between my teeth. “Let’s go break some goddamn laws.”
I love it because it represents a shift in who my heroine is: she’s reached a point where she has to go way out of her comfort zone to reach her goals. I love my hero because he’ll push her there. And because he pretends he can’t see that she’s crying, even as he wipes away her tears.
Me: Do you read your own books once they’re published? Why or why not?
Laura: Probably not immediately – I have read this book so many times in edits that I’m not sure I’m ready to read it again just yet! I think it will be fun to revisit it in a year or so’s time.
TALENT TO BURN by LAURA WELLING
Passion burns. Betrayal scars.
Cat Wilson grew up a misfit among misfits. She couldn’t read minds, see the future, or start fires like the other Talented kids inside the shadowy Grey Institute. Finally she ran, leaving her beloved brother, Eric, behind. She’s been running ever since.
When she learns that Eric has escaped, leaving deadly fires in his wake, Cat is torn between fear for her brother, and unwanted attraction to the messenger, a charming, Talented ex-con who lives for the next adrenaline rush.
Jamie Murphy is sure his group of outcast Talents can help Eric—if they can get to him before the cops or the Institute, and before he kills again. Cat’s aversion to Talented bad boys is like a wall of ice, but to his surprise, he doesn’t have to use an ounce of his own unique gift to find a way through it.
Yet locating Eric is only the beginning. In the battle to pull him back from the brink, Cat must find the courage to unlock a fearsome Talent of her own. And pray the psychic backdraft doesn’t destroy everyone she loves.
When’s she’s not writing, Laura Welling wears a lot of other hats: mother, farmer, and software engineer. She’s Australian but lives in the United States on a horse farm, which she shares with her family, an over-sized dog, and various horses, cats and chickens. She is a compulsive reader of all genre fiction, who started reading before the age of two, and never stopped. She wrote her first “book” when she was five—a spy story, which has since been joined in a bottom drawer by various other early attempts.
This book was inspired by some of her favorite stories: Anne McCaffrey’s science fiction novels, Marvel’s X-Men comics, and The X-Files television series.
Talent To Burn Buy Links:
The place held echoes of a thousand other bars, although the fire had painted everything black. The cheap tables looked worse for wear, lopsidedly melted. The bar still stood, and was toward the back of the venue, with a line of bar stools in front of it.
“Do you know much about fires?” Jamie asked.
“Look, here,” he said gesturing at the remnants of what had been bar stools. “See how these have melted, but this one at the end is intact?” I looked where he pointed. A fan of burn marks spread out from the untouched stool.
“I guess Eric must have been sitting there.” I rubbed at my arms, which were covered in goose bumps. Thinking about what had happened here made my stomach twist. God, I hoped I wouldn’t vomit. People had died here, right where I stood. I cringed inwardly. “You think he burned them where they sat drinking?”
“That adds up with what we heard in the initial reports. One minute it’s a normal night out, and then everybody—and everything—is on fire.” He paused, looking around, but his expression was neutral. “I wonder what happened then. I guess Eric took off.”
I tried to imagine what could have caused my brother to start the fire. Had someone attacked him? Was it some kind of freak accident? “If you’d started this fire, what would you do next?”
Jamie looked directly at me. “I’d run like hell and hope the cops never found me. Do you see anything else?”
“A lot of mess and water and charcoal.” I closed my eyes. I couldn’t close out the smells, or the images of horror filling my mind. I could never un-see this.
“I mean, do you see anything?”
I fought the urge to punch him. “I never see anything. I’ve told you before.”
“Sorry,” Jamie said. “I know this must be harrowing for you.”
His hand landed on my bare arm, hot against my skin, and I plunged into a waking dream.
This sounds so good, Laura! Thank you and big cyber hugs for letting me help you celebrate. And thank you to everyone reading. You all rock.