My Guest Today is S.D. Skye
S.D. Skye is a former FBI Russian Counterintelligence Program Intelligence Analyst and supported several key cases during her 12-year tenure at the Bureau. She has personally witnessed the blowback the Intelligence Community suffered due to the most significant compromises in U.S. history, including the arrests of former CIA Case Officer Aldrich Ames and two of the Bureau's own--FBI Agents Earl Pitts and Robert Hanssen. She has spent 20 years supporting counterintelligence, intelligence, and military missions in the U.S. Intelligence Community.
An award-winning author of romantic comedies in her other life, Skye is a member of the Maryland Writer's Association, Romance Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. She's addicted to writing and chocolate--not necessarily in that order--and currently lives in the Washington D.C. area with her son. Skye is hard at work on the next installment of the series.
S.D. will be awarding a Kindle Fire to a randomly drawn commenter at the end of the tour. (US/CANADA ONLY) Be sure to leave a comment and your email address for prize notification.
My Interview with S.D. Skye
1. Author name or pen name. If writing under a pen name, why did you choose this particular name?S. D. Skye is a pen name. I used it to really separate my romantic suspense/mystery books from my chick lit/romantic comedy. I didn’t want people to open my new series and be put off seeing a murder in the first chapter.
2. When did you tell your family and friends that you were a writer? How did telling them make you feel?
Well, I told my friends first. They looked at me like I’d lost the last little bit of mind I had left, and I don’t think their expressions have changed much in the five years since. But embracing this part of myself has been the most liberating and fulfilling experience in my life. I love writing and truly have a passion for it like nothing else I’ve ever done or will do.
3. What would your grandmother think if she met the hero in your book?
She would love him. He’s a family oriented man. Gorgeous, but not a playboy. Respectful. A protector. He loves his mother but he’s not a mama’s boy. Most importantly, he’s supportive, but he’s still a “guy.”
4. What is the most romantic thing a man/partner has ever done for you?
You know, it’s funny. I’m terrible about remembering the details about what people do for me, but I always remember the way they make me feel. One of my college boyfriends took me on a wonderful date when we first started “courting.” Our date began at Union Station in Washington D.C. for drinks which, architecturally speaking is a beautiful building with some great atmosphere. Then we went out to a club for dancing, including a wonderful slow dance where he held me as if he never wanted to let me go. Then we were off to an ethnic restaurant in Columbia Heights a live band played while he fed me a delicious meal. He was gorgeous and had women chasing after him left and right, but he was so attentive and affectionate that he really made me feel like I was the only woman in the world that night. Best date ever.
5. If you were planning a seductive dinner in front of a crackling fire, what would you serve? How would you serve it? What would you wear?
You have officially met the least sexy person you’ll ever know. I would say the cliché lobster, chocolate, covered strawberries, champagne and sexy lingerie, but that’s really not me. Most of my dates would be happy with steak, potato served by me in the buff. I could work with that…and it’s certainly cheaper.
6. Clothing is an important part of each scene. A low cut tank top sparks more male appreciation than a conservative button down, rolled up sleeve shirt. From a male perspective, compare the two opposites I mentioned above or choose your own for comparison.
From a male perspective, I think they are very simple. They like naked women and the closer you are to being naked, the more likely you are to spark a fire. I think there is a certain sexiness to leaving something to the imagination. But I think sexiness comes from within and if you wear your confidence well, you can make anything work.
7. Besides being unfaithful, what quality in a man—no criminal acts—would be a deal breaker? Why?
Being selfish would be a major deal breaker for me because I’m such a giving person. And what I’ve learned the hard way is that selfish people soak in all the wonderful things that you do for them, but they will leave you drained and exhausted. In order to be happy in a relationship, you have to be replenished and if you’re not, you will become resentful. So, it’s important to find someone who is considerate and will reciprocate at similar level that you give.
8. Do either your heroine or hero have a vice (drugs, chocolate, expensive jewelry, cigarettes, etc.)? How important is it to the story?
Yes, there heroine in my story has an alcohol problem. She’s not a fall down lush but she consistently drinks a little bit to control her anxieties. J.J. is under a significant amount of stress from a multitude of issues coming from all directions—family, work, and her relationships. I think watching her get that under control will demonstrate her growth over the series, if indeed she does get it under wraps. I certainly hope she does. But I like to let my characters tell their own stories so I’ll find out when we get to the end of the series like everyone else.
9. You’ve been dating Mr. Practically Alright for a month. He’s been to your house several times. Finally, he asks you over to his place to meet someone who is important to him. You are thinking it’s a child or perhaps his visiting mother. Wrong. It’s a big Labrador retriever who puts his paws on your shoulders and washes your carefully air brushed face from ear to ear. The biggest dog you’ve ever been around was the size of a meatloaf. What are the first words out of your mouth? If your date doesn’t offer antibacterial face wipes and says—by the way—Fido sleeps with him every night, what’s your next move?
“Awwww…he’s adorable!” would probably be the first words out of my mouth. I love dogs even though I don’t own them. But if he doesn’t offer me a wipe, the next thing I’ll ask is, “Where’s your bathroom?”
10. In your work, regardless of genre, do you consider the environment and do you exhibit an awareness of practices that can make a difference? It could be something as simple as motion activated lights or lights on timers.
I think one of my biggest weaknesses as a writer is that I’m more emotionally and personality oriented than environment and description oriented. I let the reader know where they are in generalities and give a few key descriptions, but I don’t bog down my writing with it. I like to leave a lot to the readers’ imagination.
I certainly hope so. My hero is less senior in rank than my heroine (even though they’re in the same profession) but they have a relationship based on mutual respect, so money isn’t an issue for them. And I think that as long writers don’t make it an issue for the characters, neither will the readers.
12. Congratulations, your book has just been optioned by movie producer. Of course you’ll be a consultant to the casting director. Who would you chose to play your heroine? Hero? What song would you pick for your soundtrack? And since you’ve convinced the powers to be that you must write the screenplay, what will you be wearing to the Academy Awards to accept your Oscar for best screenplay? Include jewelry!
Oh, this is such an honor! For the heroine, I would pick Aisha Tyler. Ironically, she’s played similar roles quite frequently, including the animated international spy series Archer. For the hero, I still like my first choice which is Henry Cavill from The Tudors. He’s a hunka hunka burning love.
As for the soundtrack, that’s a tough one. I’m going to a little ways back and say My Sacrifice by Creed. Not only is it one of the best songs EVER, but I think both J.J. and Tony sacrifice their own happiness, inner peace, and even their careers for the sakes of others—yet there is a real freedom or liberation they feel when they allow themselves to let go and be together.
Now, what shall I wear? I’m definitely a Christian Dior, Oscar de la Renta, Jason Wu kind of girl. I love timeless, classic styling, clean lines, all in a beautiful full-length black, off-the-shoulder number. And this would not be complete without a red-bottom Christian Louboutin. As for jewelry, I’d keep it simple and classic as well. Tiffany diamond studs and a tear-drop diamond necklace to finish off the look.
Her Family Was Vexed With a Generational Curse. Now for Lie Detecting FBI Spy Catcher J.J. McCall, the Truth is in The Seven Year Itch.
FBI Special Agent J.J. McCall is a born lie detector who recruits foreign spies to catch American traitors. She and co-case agent Tony Donato have lost two of their most critical Russian sources in the past two years, and they may lose another in just a few short days if they don’t catch him, The ICE PHANTOM, a rumored insider spy more insidious and elusive than Ames and Hanssen combined. They suspect he might be burrowed deep inside FBI counterintelligence—and his body count is going up.
Drawn into an unsanctioned mole hunt, they have a week to catch him, save a key source’s life—and their own. While J.J.’s lie detecting ability helps them narrow down the list of suspects, the lie she tells to herself may help the ICE PHANTOM defect to Moscow and get away with the murder of the man she loves.
Skye's debut FBI Series, filled with mystery, espionage, romance, and suspense, will keep you burning through the pages until J.J. catches the very last spy.
A Tantalizing Taste
J.J searched for serenity in bottom of a Belvedere bottle. The wait for his sugar-coated lies had dragged on for too long, and she’d lost patience. After glancing around the small reception area to ensure no one was watching, she removed from her purse a silver flask and smiled. It was filled to the brim with relief. One small gulp and the soothing burn slipped down her throat, calming her prickly nerves. Inside she felt on the brink of dissolution. The 10 am swallow was just a necessary evil. It would get her through the meeting, until time for her next dose of repose.
Another dead source. She couldn’t stomach the thought of his demise. Two had been more than her fair share. The unceasing cycle of loss had worn her resolve thin. She’d refused to let another family suffer that pain if she could in any way prevent it. J.J. wanted to tell the FBI where to stick her badge and gun, but she had promises to keep. Promises to Viktor. Promises to herself. No matter what Cartwright said, she’d see her case through until the end. And the end was as near as nightfall because the op was simple and would go off without a hitch.
J.J. stiffened her back and squared her shoulders as the elixir took effect. Her posture mirrored that of the powerful yet graceful eagle perched atop her FBI badge. She’d eyed it, waiting for the carefully choreographed denial and deception ritual to begin.
Where in the world is S.D. Skye?
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March 1: Bunny's Review