Hard to Kill
A Hard Targets Novel
By Wendy Byrne
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A: She was brainstorming ideas for a series that would tie into Gemma Halliday’s Play Nice book. She needed to incorporate Goren Petrovich into the plot and developed me and my siblings as a 3-book series.
Q: Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?
A: I’ve led a unique life, being orphaned at the age of 7 along with my older brothers, Jake and Max. We lived on the streets for nearly a year before Petrovich took us under his wing. He educated us in the fine arts, math, reading but also taught us how to kill. It’s not too surprising that my life was made into a book.
Q: What are your favorite scenes in your book: the action, the dialog or the romance?
A: No doubt about it, the action is my favorite part. I can hang with the big boys all day long.
Q: Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you?
A: Because of the dark subject matter (sex trafficking) it took some convincing to make her believe that it would be about redemption and good triumphing over evil. She also didn’t always like to write the fighting scenes. She’s kind of a wimp when it comes to violence.
Q: Do you infiltrate your writer’s dreams?
A: Most definitely. That’s when I’d tell her what should happen next.
Q: What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?
A: Don’t tell anybody, but I like to hang with Kane. He’s fun for an FBI guy.
Q: Are you happy with the genre your writer has placed you in?
A: A whole lot of suspense with a touch of romance. Yep, that’s me.
Q: If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?
A: I think I would have blown up the bad guy’s body after I killed him. My writer thought that was a bit over the top.
Q: Do you like the way the book ended?
A: Yep. Except I’m still embarrassed about I did in front of Kane. And my brothers? Geez, they’ll never let me forget about it!
Q: Would you be interested in a sequel, if your writer was so inclined?
A: I think Kane and I worked well together and I could see many adventures in our future. He’d have to break some of those boring FBI rules though, which could be problematic. Then again, I think he broke every rule in the book when we took down Trinity together.
Q: What is your least favorite characteristic your writer has attributed to you?
A: She made me way too stubborn. I’m not nearly that bad.
Q: Do have any secret aspirations that your author doesn’t know about?
A: I want to wow Kane in a fancy dress one of these days and have a night on the town. I think for once I’d like to dress like a sexy powerful woman. Of course I might have to wear my brown leather boots underneath. But a gal needs to be comfortable.
Q: What do you do for a living?
A: I’m a retrieval specialist. I specialize in getting people back who’ve been kidnapped. I do things nobody else can or wants to do.
Q: What do you wear when you go to sleep?
A: I like to be comfy so a soft worn in t-shirt (sometimes Kane’s) and some drawstring cotton pants or shorts.
Q: What is your most prized possession?
A: A picture of my family before my parents were killed. I keep it stashed in a drawer in my bedside table.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy Sunday?
A: I like to watch movies, mostly blow-everything-up action movies. Sometimes I like to watch scary movies, but only if Kane is around. (Don’t tell a soul about that though.)
Q: What is your vivid memory of your mother and father?
A: They were the kindest sweetest people are earth. My mom was always smiling. My father was always laughing. In fact, there was a lot of laughter in my house. I remember my mother used to brush my hair every night after my bath and tell me fairy tales. They weren’t sappy fairy tales, where the woman has to wait for Prince Charming, but ones about girls becoming strong women who fought for what they believed in. Sometimes, she’d let me wear the ruby necklace that my father gave her. I loved that necklace. It had their initials carved into the back. When they died, the necklace went missing.
Q: What turns you on?
A: Kane. Please don’t breathe a word of that to him or his ego will get even bigger. He’s comfortable in his own skin. Doesn’t get rattled easy and gets me for some strange reason. He’s intelligent and over-the-top patient. He’s kind and gentle, but never smothering.
Q: What turns you off?
A: Men who think they can do things better than me just because they’re men.
Q: What sound or noise do you love?
A: I love the sound of rain as it pelts against the windows of my New York City apartment. Sometimes, I climb onto the fire escape and just sit there and enjoy the moment, especially in the very early morning when the city hasn’t quite woken up yet. It reminds me of a time when I still had my parents and we would go for hikes in the summer rain.
Q: What sound or noise do you hate?
A: I hate the sound of people screaming and yelling at each other. It’s a waste of time and oxygen. If they’re so unhappy, they shouldn’t be together.
Q: What other profession would you like to try?
A: I think I would make a good boss. I like to tell people what to do. Just ask my brothers. As long as I don’t have to be in an office all day long. That would drive me crazy. Maybe I could take Jenning’s job one day. (He’s my boss at The Alliance.)
Q: What would you not like to do?
A: I like a lot of action, so the idea of sitting behind a desk would make me crazy. And I don’t do well playing by the rules, so being an FBI agent probably wouldn’t work either.
Trained as children to become an assassins by the infamous Goren Petrovich, Sabrina Shaw and her two brothers have had a less-than-normal upbringing. After escaping his clutches, Sabrina and her brothers have tried to make a normal life for themselves.
Now Sabrina works for an organization called The Alliance, specializing in the kind of jobs that no one else can or wants to do. Her current assignment: find the daughter of a prominent politician who has disappeared, categorized as a runaway by the authorities.
It seems simple enough, until Sabrina uncovers the girl may have been the victim of a kidnapping that goes far beyond ransom requests. Now Sabrina must put her training to the test as she infiltrates a sex trafficking ring operating in Europe in order to find the girl...all while dodging a mysterious FBI agent and the demons from her own past.
Gemma Halliday Publishing
Romantic Suspense ,@72k words
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hard-to-kill-wendy-byrne/1119887454?ean=2940046046335&cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-kRKIOhaaRAc-_-10:1&r=1
“Get the hell out of there. Now.” Jenning’s voice crackled to life in Sabrina’s earpiece.
She ignored his command even while her skin itched, foretelling her sixth sense was kicking in. Yep, she was close.
“Now, Shaw. His friends are heading your way. You—"
She clicked off the receiver to stop the tirade that no doubt would follow. A few minutes. That’s all she needed.
Tip-toeing up the metal staircase in her black combat-style boots, she inched her way to apartment 203. Eddie Ramer might be able to fool the cops but not her. The bottom feeder had been enticing Caitlyn for weeks with his promise of high paying modeling gigs. And then she’d disappeared.
Coincidence? Yeah, right.
A heavy smell of weed permeated the air, despite the open balconies outside the apartment doors. The metal railing and no-tell-motel-appearance of the building didn’t shock her. In fact it worked in her favor. The thin walls made her privy to the conversations along the journey to her prize.
201. 202. Finally, 203.
Peeking inside was made impossible by the closed drapes. Instead, she crawled under the window, then slid along the wall stopping outside the apartment door. A cacophony of motorcycle engines in the distance signaled Eddie’s friends were getting closer.
Her heart beat heavily while her fingers tingled. Everything inside her longed to grab the gun strapped to her thigh, but she resisted the urge. Only if necessary. She held her breath, keying into the conversation on the other side of the door.
“Let me see what you’ve got, baby.” The voice came from inside.
Sabrina closed her eyes, dispelling the vile thoughts racing around her head. Focus remained the key to her success.
“I thought—" The girl’s shaky voice signaled her fear.
“You have a smokin’ bod, but I gotta know you can sell the goods. That’s the way this works. Only then can I open doors for you.”
With one strategically placed kick, her boot separated the lock from the flimsy door. Seconds later, she charged inside, tackling Eddie to the ground. He tried to reverse her dominant position, but she was one step ahead of him, bringing the tip of her blade to his throat, a mere flick away from his carotid artery.
She slid off his chest and eased them both to a standing position, never wavering on the location of the blade. “Now Caitlyn and I are going to leave without any trouble from you or your ragtag group of merry men. Got that?”
His eyebrows furrowed while his lips curled into a smirk. “Caitlyn? She’s ancient history.”
A sinking sensation settled in her gut as Sabrina turned toward the girl. Hovering close to the bed, a young Hispanic girl with striking looks and long dark hair stood, her blouse partially unbuttoned. Definitely not Caitlyn Collins.
That half second of non-focus on her part was all Eddie needed to grab her forearm, dislodging the knife and sending it flying across the room into the wall. Despite his bulk, the alcohol reeking from his pores slowed his reflexes. She easily ducked the clumsy punch he sent her way. When he grasped her bicep and pulled up, that left him open for her counter strike to the round part of his shoulder, followed by a punch to his liver through the intercostal nerve, robbing him of breath, then a chop to the side of his neck, hitting his vagus nerve with enough force to stun.
Sabrina grabbed the girl and ran.
Dread chilled her bones as she bounded down the steps, yanking the frightened girl along with her. For the first time in her life she’d failed her mission. She’d given the Collins family hope when she’d promised to rescue their daughter. Now she was coming back empty handed. There had to be another way.
Wendy has a Masters in Social Work and worked in the child welfare field for twelve years before she decided to pursue her dream of writing. Her first two books, Fractured and Mama Said were published in 2011 and 2012.Mama Said was a finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Contest. She self-published The Christmas Curse in 2012.
Between teaching college classes, trying to get her morbidly obese cat to slim down, and tempering the will of her five-year-old granddaughter, who's determined to become a witch when she turns six so she can fly on her broom to see the Eiffel Tower and put hexes on people—not necessarily in that order—somehow Wendy still manages to fit in writing. She spends the remainder of her days inflicting mayhem on her hero and heroine until they beg for mercy.
contact link: http://www.wendybyrne.net/contact/
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