Learning to Die - Through the Eyes of Kate James (Character Interview and Giveaway)
Please welcome this beautiful woman to the stage. We even have a prize for one of the guests in the audience today. So toss your name in the hat at the end of the interview. Have fun! Now on to the show.
Host: I know you’re busy, but can you tell me a bit about yourself?
KJ: Well, my name is Kate James. I’m thirty-four, and I work as a criminalist for the Miami Dade Crime Lab. I specialize in trace evidence and narcotics. My closest friends are my coworkers. We spend so much time together that we’re kind of like family.
Host: What about your mother and father? Any siblings?
KJ: My mom died when I was young. Cancer. My brother ten years ago.
Host: And your father?
KJ: What about him? Since my mom died, he’s been an absentee father. He thinks I’m dead now.
Host: Tell me about when your brother was killed. You told your coworkers he died in a construction accident, but that’s not true, is it?
KJ: No, it’s not. He was undercover with a drug cartel, and it went bad. I had just been sent under to the same cartel, so I was there the night they shot him…. The time after that is a blur. The Marshals put me in WitSec and sent me packing to Miami. They gave me a bogus story about my past and turned me loose.
Host: What kind of person are you today because of that moment?
KJ: Alone. Simple as that. Being in WitSec doesn’t afford you personal relationships that aren’t built on lies. My whole life is a lie. My friends don’t know me, even though they try. I’m really afraid this is all there is for me–that I’ve lost myself, and this persona I’ve created is all there is left. And it’s hard to love a ghost.
Host: Is there anything you hold on to, something physical or a memory, when you’re trying to sort through it all?
KJ: This is going to sound absolutely ridiculous and crazy. The night my brother was killed is a huge blur. The chaos is so jumbled in my mind that I have a hard time sorting it out. But when I finally made it back to the police station that night, I found my brother’s partners talking with this man I’d never seen before. Except it felt like I had seen him, like I knew him. I’m still not sure who he was or what he was doing there. He had these gray eyes that looked right through me. In all that chaos, that was the only time I ever felt safe…when he was looking at me. Wow, I haven’t thought about him in a long time.
Read more about Kate in Learning to Die (Excerpt):
“I’m here to protect you.” His eyes changed, softened maybe, and the white haze that usually preceded a flashback edged her vision. No. Not now.
His hand twitched as he made a move for his pocket. Reflex took over as her muscles coiled in anticipation. Her right hand flew forward in a well-practiced uppercut, aiming for the sweet spot under his chin.
Though she had surprise on her side, he was much stronger and anticipated her move. Her fist never made contact. Instead, his hand wrapped tightly around her wrist and twisted her until her back slammed up against the wall with her right hand over her head, the muscles in her shoulder aching in protest. He reached for her left hand and raised it until he held both wrists, in one hand, above her head.
Her chest heaved with adrenaline. Self-preservation coursed through her gut, and if it came to fighting for her life or the lives of her friends, she would not hold it back.
His face was mere inches from hers now, his breath on her cheek. Involuntary shivers tingled her spine. If only she’d grabbed her gun before she stepped into the hallway.
“I said I’m here to protect you… even from yourself.” The words ghosted over her as he lowered his lips to her ear and brushed them against her skin. She imagined if anyone bothered to look at the security cameras right now, they’d appear more like a pair of lovers than two enemies in a stalemate. There didn’t seem to be much of a line between the two at the moment, as confusion and attraction waged a war in the pit of her stomach. He wasn’t as unaffected as he’d like her to think — she could see his pulse thrumming in his neck.
He looked down to his left, and her eyes followed his movement. When he went for his pocket again, she didn’t fight. Instead of a weapon, he raised his hand to present a badge directly in front of her face.
Lying inside a black flip wallet, the badge resembled a gold circle with a star inside it, the words “United States Marshal” around the outside. Opposite the badge, she read the credential card that introduced her attacker as Graham Shepherd, Senior Deputy U.S. Marshal, Inspector. She looked back and forth from the picture on the card to the man in front of her. The eyes left no doubt it was the same man.
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PRIZE: Winner’s choice of format of a copy of Learning to Die.
About the Book:
A ghost running for her life…
Emily Fox died ten years ago, but she’s not dead enough for Endriago—head of the Colombian drug cartel who murdered her brother while she looked on.
A past she can’t escape…
Now living in Miami as criminalist Kate James and under the protection of the U.S. Marshals, Emily is explosively reunited with her past, propelling her headlong into a web of corruption.
A man who threatens everything…
Two men stand in her way—one threatens her heart, the other her life. Both underestimate her. Because in the race to solve her brother’s murder, she has nothing left to lose.
About the Author:
A tomboy with southern belle roots, Amryn Cross was born and raised in Tennessee where she learned the importance of God, family, Southern hospitality, and football. She’s loved the written word from the times she was a child, convinced the squiggly lines on top of the Hostess cupcake really spelled out a secret message.
Working full-time as a forensic scientist, Amryn makes time for writing between spending time with friends and family and working in her church. She is also an active member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), The Rough Diamond Writers (RDW), and My Book Therapy (MBT. She also answers forensic questions at Jordyn Redwood’s Medical Edge blog.