Wednesday 6 November 2013

MJ Flournoy is my guest

Welcome MJ Flournoy.
Good to be here, Anna.
I live in Georgia with my husband and one neurotic cat. I love reading romance novels, my love of writing grew organically from that love. It was the next logical step for me to move from reading romance to writing romance.  In my day job I teach middle school. I have been a special education teacher for twenty years. I currently co-teach language arts and math. Keeping up with thirteen year olds keeps me young.

I wish I could draw. I can’t, but I do admire those who can. One of these days I’m going to give watercolors a try. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

To promote my work I use Facebook, I have a blog where I feature excerpts and offer PDF copies as prizes. One lucky commenter today can win a pdf of A Matter of Trust. I use Twitter and I blog with other authors.

My current series is the NVC Series of which A Matter of Trust is the first book. NVC, New Ventures Consulting is a think-tank/covert ops group that fixes things. NVC’s operative have special abilities.

A Matter of Trust was one of those stories that came from real life. I saw a news story about a woman who help rescue a kidnapped child because she sensed something was off about the child’s situation. That story sparked my “what if” response and A Matter of Trust was born.

When a teacher with psychic abilities is framed for kidnapping she has to team up with an Ex-Navy SEAL with trust issues to save the child.

Writing conflict is the hardest for me, because I tend to make it too complicated! Then it takes me forever to figure out how to unpaint my way out of that corner. Guess that’s why I want to be an artist. I am definitely a pantser. I try not to do a detailed outline or synopsis before I write the story because I lose my enthusiasm once I know what is going to happen.

I am traditionally published. My publisher is Renaissance Ebooks, but I think the time is ripe for self publishing. I am seriously considering self-publishing in the near future.

I like to make my characters hyper-aware of their counterpart. Getting into the character's head using deep point of view helps to build the sexual tension. Allowing the reader to experience those thoughts and feelings make it a shared experience for the reader.

I have the best critique partner in the world. We work online a lot, but during the summer months we actually drive to meet and critique. My CP rescued me from the black hole of not writing and pulled me screaming back into the sunshine and I've been basking in it ever since! I’m answering these questions and this is due yesterday. I am a card carrying procrastinator, but my CP has me on the 12 step plan!

I have no rejection stories to share. Rejection depresses me, so I try to avoid discussing it. Just let’s say it’s been a long hard road.

My writing goes in fits and starts. Late nights, weekends and holidays are the most productive times for me. When I am blocked, I pout. Ask my CP, she’ll tell you. Once I quit pouting, the words flow.

I’m currently reading Donnell Bell’s Deadly Recall and writing this is keeping me away from it. That and trying to do NaNoWriMo.

A Matter of Trust is a romantic suspense with paranormal elements. I enjoyed writing this book because as they say, “it was ripped from the headlines.” The idea came after seeing a report of a woman who intervened and called the police when she saw a child she thought had been kidnapped. The woman literally saved a child’s life.
My character, Jolie is a teacher with psychic abilities. Using those abilities cost her dearly, but when a child is kidnapped, she has to team up with hot, sexy hero Mac Carlson to rescue the child. Mac is an ex-Navy SEAL and a loner. Can they learn to trust each other and work together to save the little girl?

Excerpt: (Note-Maniac speaks in Italics)

This is so not good, wake up, Mary Poppins, come on, we’re in deep birdie do-do here.

Jolie’s entire body seared with fire from the inside out. Every muscle, every tendon screamed in pain. She tried to move. She could barely breathe. Her throat refused to cooperate with her order to scream. For a moment she thought herself blind as well as immobile, but the soft texture of cloth against her cheek told her that whatever had been put over her head remained. Slowly her wits returned, if not control of her body. She remembered opening the door and stepping into darkness. Then? Nothing.

No, that’s not right. They drugged us. Didn't you feel that needle? Hurt like hell. Probably still does, but we can’t feel it with the effect of whatever the hell he gave us.

Jolie managed a groan deep in her throat. Or maybe just in her mind. My arm, my pain, not yours, she admonished the Maniac.

Not the time to quibble. I suppose I could go and leave you alone.

Don’t you dare. It would be just like you to leave me at a time like this. Why didn't you warn me? You can feel when a child is in danger, but can’t tell when I’m about to be abducted? What kind of guardian angel are you anyway?

Never claimed to be an angel. Besides, you know it doesn't work that way. We can’t help ourselves. Only others.

Well, if you ask me, it’s a stupid rule.

Not my rule.

Where are we? Jolie tried to move and found her limbs unresponsive.

Haven’t got the foggiest. Can’t see a damn thing with this bag over your head. The Maniac snickered at her little joke.

Now is so not the time to be funny.

Do something.

I can’t move, I've tried.

Crap, whatever he used still hasn't worn off.

Jolie’s attention caught on that one word. He? She willed her body to move but nothing happened.

Why don’t you do something? Jolie couldn’t feel her arms, much less move them. Why do I have to do it all?

Quiet, someone’s coming. Don’t let him know we’re awake.

Like I could. Panic surged within her when someone or something moved nearby. A subtle shift here, a sound there. Chills tingled down her spine. How many were there? What did they want with her? What were they going to do with her, do to her?

Fear choked her. Perspiration pooled in certain areas of her body. Armpits, upper lip, valley between her breasts, all damp. The scent of fear filled her nostrils. Her fear. Thick tangible, choking, debilitating fear. It ran through her veins like poison. Somewhere deep in her chest a small child-like whimper began, built pressure and forced its way between her clenched lips.

She would not be a wimp. She would not.

We’re not in any immediate danger, I would sense if evil were lurking.

Now you’re a freaking evil barometer. Jolie drew strength from the calmness of the Maniac’s voice.

Well, duh? How else do you think I know these things?

Well, why didn't you… Jolie stilled her thoughts. Never mind, listen they’re coming closer.

Slowly the paralysis relaxed. Jolie tried and found she could move her fingers. Maybe even her arms. She held her body tense, waiting, hoping for a chance. A chance to do what? She was a teacher, not a pugilist. Teachers weren't even allowed to paddle kids these days.

I am so screwed. Jolie realized she could move, but had no idea what to do with that new ability. Should have taken some sort of self-defense class instead of doubling up on reading instructions, Jolie grumbled. Slowly she moved her foot, testing for bindings. She could move her feet, her hands, and even lift her head, if she moved slowly. Apparently her abductors were so confident in the drug used to render her helpless they felt no need to bind her. Their mistake, she hoped.

Okay, we can use this to our advantage. Try moving an arm, see if you can push the damn cloth away from our eyes.

Biting back a retort at the Maniac’s order, Jolie slowly moved her arm, her fingers feeling for the edge of the cloth covering her face. By cautious inches, she pushed the material away from her face.


Total darkness greeted her. Jolie groaned. So much for that.

She moved her hand back to her side, letting her fingers slide over the surface where she lay. It felt like silk, no, satin. Her hand fanned out, moving over the smooth, cool surface. When the fog gradually cleared from her befuddled brain, she took in more details. Softness beneath her. Satin smoothness, soft like a mattress. Jolie’s breath caught in her throat when she and the Maniac reached the same conclusion at the same time.

Not good. We’re in someone’s bed.

Total darkness surrounded her and yet she could feel someone watching her. Her senses were in hyper drive. Warning tingles ran along her spine. Someone was definitely nearby, watching her.

He’s here.


Reminder that MJ is giving away a free PDF of A Matter of Trust. We need your email if you want to win.

Thanks for being my guest, MJ.


  1. Replies
    1. Sandy, you know that things will get complicated in a hurry with a teacher with psychic abilities! Hope you'll read A Matter of Trust.

      MJ Flournoy-(Scarlet is my hiding from the students name)

  2. I love mysteries that go with romance. I admire that you are able to show the suspense and still figure out all the details. I wish you all the best!


  3. Melissa, so glad you stopped by. I've so pleased that you enjoy mysteries and romance. That's my favorite also!

    MJ Flournoy

  4. Love psychic books..and she's a teacher. I can relate to that! Best of luck with sales!

    1. Marianne, if you're a teacher, then you can imagine the outcome when the media exposed her special skill. I hope you will enjoy reading A Matter of Trust.


  5. I happen to know this book rocks! Don't miss it!